Posts Tagged ‘anne lamott’

In December, when the Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA) was having its annual expo, Erik sent me an email alert. Even though I couldn’t get there, I was curious.

I don’t think of myself as an author, and I’ve never joined a writing group despite the well-known advice from Anne Lamott. But I guess I’m an honorary author as my oldest grandchild once thought it was the same thing as being an editor. (The magazine I used to edit came to his house, and when he saw my photo in it and John explained that I helped to write the articles, he said, “Is Grandma an author?”)

I know that at least one reader of this blog is a Rhode Island author, Tracy Lee Karner.

According to the Association of Rhode Island Authors website, the December meeting was focused on memoirs.”The Lively Literati returns to The Elephant Room in Cranston’s Pawtuxet Village on Thursday, December 17, with authors Patricia Mitchell, Connie Rose Ciampanelli, and Debbie Kaiman Tillinghast. The authors will be discussing memoir writing and sharing short excerpts from their most recent works. Following the presentation, audience members are invited to share their own short writing or poetry, on any topic, at our open mic.”

Also at the website, you can read about the members and many association activities. Note that the “next regular meeting of the Association of Rhode Island Authors will take place on Thursday, January 14, in the Community Room at the Thundermist Health Center, 186 Providence Street, West Warwick. Informal networking begins at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. New authors, members and guests are always welcome.”

Photo: Association of Rhode Island Authors
ARIA member Mark Perry, who agreed to a stint as ‘Post’ Mark, the elf who works in Santa’s mail room. He fielded some surprising questions from kids.

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Lots of creative people need a little push to just sit down and do it.

If I recall writer Anne Lamott’s advice in Bird by Bird correctly, she says that in addition to writing a little every day and embracing terrible first drafts, the most important thing is a group of other creative types with whom you meet on a regular basis to say what you have done since last time.

So it doesn’t surprise me that there are popular musicians who are grateful to be allowed into a songwriting challenge called “The Song Game.”

Acacia Squires wrote about it for National Public Radio: “Bob Schneider finished writing ‘The Effect,’ a song from his latest album, Burden of Proof, in just a few days. That’s how he does it: For 12 years, the Texas musician has beaten back the urge to procrastinate by writing a song once a week, every week. It began casually, just him and a friend sharing their songs with one another. …

“Now it’s grown into an Internet-based, deadline-driven songwriting motivation strategy which Schneider calls ‘The Song Game.’ It’s a game without winners or losers — just productivity. He’s filled five studio albums with songs from the game since 2001, and says he still needs it all these years later.

” ‘There’s the critical voice inside your head and it stops people from writing,’ he says. ‘I try to eliminate that voice by saying, “Look, I’m gonna write a song. I’m gonna try to make it interesting.” ‘ …

“One of the ground rules of the game: fail to submit a song every week, and Schneider will cut you from the invite-only email list. And here’s another rule: the phrase. To keep songwriters from working ahead, he sends a short phrase to the group that has to be in the next week’s song.”

Read more here and see what well-known songs started out with the word of the week from Schneider.

Photo: Chris Miller
Singer and songwriter Bob Schneider, founder of “The Song Game”

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