Writer’s Workshop: Annual Girls’ Weekend

June 16, 2011

1.) Girls Night Out! Describe the last time you got to hang out with your friends? What stops you from doing this more often? I wrote this just days after the event but my desire to stay anonymous kept me from posting it–I even sent it to one of the participants to guest post on her blog but couldn’t bring myself to say “post it.” Now, I’m feeling bold. This doesn’t really answer “why” we don’t get together more often, but that is such a simple answer: we just don’t have the time.

I watched as one by one they would put down their pens or scissors and sigh. It was time to go; time to begin the arduous task of packing up. Most would have a sense of accomplishment and a sense of relief that they were going home with less than what they started.

But I could see the wistfulness as they’d share another laugh or exchange some quip with the woman across from them as they placed scraps into the trashcan. It had to end. It couldn’t last forever.

Every woman in attendance had at one time or another during the weekend declared defiantly that it was “her weekend, her time without the children or husband; she could sleep in or read a magazine without interruption.” Ironically, every woman also took phone calls and texts from home—or even made the call herself to check in. I guess that sense of freedom only went so far.

As rolling carts and photo boxes were organized and closed up, each woman would murmur “We need to do this more often.” Even the hotel staff wants us to come back in six months instead of just annually. Tired, yet rested, and relaxed from the stress-free weekend, each hugged me good-bye and dragged their feet to the door, not wanting the weekend to end.

I’ve been hosting the annual weekend for eight years now and I have to say this was probably the most relaxed and the most enjoyable in recent memory. It probably had much to do with the fact I didn’t plan or prepare for the weekend prior to a week before the event. It was so non-frills and no pressure that I almost felt guilty charging a fee—almost, after all I still had the facilities costs to cover.

While I’m sure it is totally bad for business, I believe this last-minute attitude contributed to a feeling of being just one of the attendees. There wasn’t a feeling that I was the consultant and I was providing a service. The fact of the matter is they were not expecting any service. I did not join them when they went on a food run not out of obligation that I needed to stay in case a customer needed me—I stayed because 1., I just wasn’t hungry, and 2., I just wanted to stay and work on my own stuff.

This feeling of being one of the crowd started Friday afternoon. Maybe waiting until the time I wanted to leave to load the car and get a shower is the key. I felt no rush to be there well in advance of the others. And when I did get there, my trusty sidekick was just checking in and I had a set of hands to help me unload. But I didn’t set up and I didn’t put out order forms and catalogs. I just closed the conference room doors and waited in a hotel room.

Everyone else arrived just before our reservation time. Together we all loaded up and headed out to West Main restaurant. And I was waiting for one extra friend who although she wasn’t scrapbooking with us (but I will get her to put all her 365 photos in a digital book!) to make the night complete. We hadn’t seen each other in probably 18 ½ years. We have known each other since the 6th grade.

And there we all were, gathered around the table in the upper room at West Main, all remembering even what we had ordered the year before and salivating for this year’s choices. (BTW, their fried green tomatoes are better than the ones we had at Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons. I’m just sayin’, ya’ll.) Classmates, troop leaders, older sisters, younger sisters, moms’ club refugees, fellow Pisces celebrating another year … embarrassing the youthful waiter who kept walking in at all the wrong moments.

“Did you know a donkey can see all four feet simultaneously?” And that was one of the more tame comments.

Our non-scrapbooking friend will forever be part of the group; forever part of the stories that come out of our annual weekend. Not only was it just as if there hadn’t been 18 years, our crazy group welcomes any who can hang and keep up.

I’ve been home almost two days and the car still isn’t unpacked. Maybe it’s my way of trying to keep the weekend from ending. Reality, however, creeps back in and I know what all the ladies know: savor those precious 48 hours as it’s not likely to happen more than once a year. Oh, but what memories!

Writing Prompts:
1.) Girls Night Out! Describe the last time you got to hang out with your friends? What stops you from doing this more often?
2.) If Social Media died tomorrow, describe another hobby you might get into.
3.) Share a Summer Camp memory.
4.) We’re too old to be getting in trouble…aren’t we? Write about a time you were scolded…as an adult.
5.) Barefoot and hormonal…describe an incident that upset you when you were pregnant, but now looking back makes you laugh.

Bonus Vlog Option!
Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself out there on video, but it’s a fun and different option for a post and a great way for your readers to get to know you better. The problem is many of us don’t know what to vlog about…this bonus prompt option will give you the inspiration you need to create a short video for your blog. Now to drum up the courage…

6.) On Monday I posted a vlog that revealed what companies really want from mom bloggers. Create a video where you share your opinion on monetizing blogs. You are free to talk about whatever this topic inspires in you, but here are some sample questions: Are you willing to work with brands? Is it “selling out”? Can a blogger over do it? Do you have tips to share? A memorable experience working with a brand? etc.



  1. […] Scotland. I really had a good time. I also celebrated my 37th birthday with good friends at my annual scrapbooking weekend. Glasgow SymbolsThe pub across the street … gives new meaning to going to […]

  2. […] other friends, the ones who go with me scrapbooking, they are the ones who have let our relationships evolve beyond our children. They are ones who I […]

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