(Admit it. You've Googled her. More than once. I know I have. :-)
I discovered the RRWS while reading the San Francisco Chronicle articleon Ivory and redroom.com. I had always been interested in writing and have even written a few short stories and poems, but I had never seriously considered getting published thinking that I was just not good enough or that the world is filled with writers and would be writers and that I was not special enough to stand out. So, the idea of taking a class here or a workshop there never entered my mind because I just figured it was not worth the disappointment and heartache.
I had tried Chris Baty's NaNoWriMo for a couple of years (for more info, check out www.nanowrimo.org,) and I heard that the "plow ahead to finish your rough first draft" method was something both had in common. The big difference with RRWS is that you sit in a room with other writers and you work silently and individually for one solid hour. It is all about focus and time commitment.
The closest thing I had ever taken was a writing class at Cal State Hayward (now called Cal State East Bay.) The best thing I took away from that experience (other than the teacher and her habit or crossing her long legs whenever she would mention her boyfriend,) was that I had finally found my "voice." Not surprisingly, my writer's voice was really my everyday talking voice, but put on the written page. I think finding your voice has something more to do with feeling comfortable in your own skin and not being afraid to freely express your opinions as opposed to some exacting method of intellectual discourse.
Now, I am not sure how this method works, but it absolutely does. There is something to the method where a group of people sit together and work independently from one another. It almost feels like a study hall, but without the tabletop football matches. (It's played with a piece of paper folded into an acute triangle. Lots of field goal attempts between the index fingers and thumbs. Ladies, ask the guys about this.) I am a big believer of the whole notion that thoughts become action, and that your thoughts generate vibrations from your brain that create actual results in the Universe. The latest thing to use this idea is the thing known as The Secret (made famous on the Oprah Winfrey show.)
Even if you do not accept this type of quantum mechanical hooey, there is something to a gathering of like minded individuals who all are focused on the same goal: to write and write some more. There is an energy - a vibration, if you will - that is absolutely palpable. Maybe we are all vibrating at the same frequency. Maybe we are just too embarrassed to just sit there and watch other people write. Whatever. I only know that Ivory has discovered something very important here and it is absolutely the only thing I have ever tried that has worked for me as far as plowing thru that first draft. My pen hit the paper and would not stop until someone mentioned that it had already been over an hour. Wow.
Now, unfortunately, the RRWS will go on a one year hiatus after this month, so I grateful for Margarita of RRWS for allowing me to cram the workshop in within a span of two weeks. The sessions I've attended have been very inspirtational. The people seem really cool and the environment is perfect for this type of creative outlet. We are in the process of continually get together during the hiatus, so it would be interesting to see how all this shakes out. I am not 100% where this will ultimately take me, but so far the ride has been a blast. Thanks to Ivory and everyone at RRWS and redroom.com for giving us would be writers a chance to achieve our dreams.
I am Randy, and I am a great writer! Full speed ahead ...