What is a writer's marathon? It's essencially a 6-8 hour exercise that encourages people to become more comfortable with unleashing themselves through writing, expanding their current framework of writing practice, and hear other people's writing while doing it.
Here's the basic premise:
Everyone meets at a predetermined location, likely someone's house (my apartment), or an ambient setting such as a park. In the beginning everyone writes various topics on scraps of paper which are tossed into a bowl pot or had for later use, and then writing begins. The setting should be liberating and inspiring, different music might be played in the background to set a tone, candles are wonderful because they add a mystical spiritual quality to the area, as are any other things that might be added to the enviornment.
Once it is time to write, someone picks one of the topics from the hat and reads it. You don't have to write on that topic. It's just a tool used to get your mind going if you can't think of anything else to write. Everyone then writes non stop in a notebook for 10-30 minutes, until the agreed upon time is up.
Then, going around a circle, everyone reads what has been written. No commenting is allowed people remain silent, and offer no verbal feedback except perhaps a thank you and an indication that it's the next person's turn to read. After everyone has read, the timer starts again, the host may well change some of the atmosphere (new music, different lighting, etc), and people write. A new topic is drawn, and if you feel that you really want to comment on someone's writing, you are allowed to write how that piece made you feel in this session's writing -- it will be read allowed when it's done.
The purpose is to simply be free with our thoughts, and to realize that all thoughts are equally mundane and magical, and we are often more similiar than we suspect. It's a very spiritual practice in my opinion, and after the first few rounds, often find myself feeling comfortable enough to take my writing in directions that I might not have considered.
People are allowed two or three passes. If they write somethting and don't want to read what came out during that time around, then they can opt to give up their reading spot for a round. This is to give people a sense of comfort and a way out if they so desire.
I dunno... like I said, this is something I'd like to organize, however I'm not sure who all I know that would be genuinely interested in it. Anyone willing to give it a try would be greatly appreciated. It is something that I would like to experience.
People I don't know are welcome. :) It may be a beautiful opportunity make new friends via pen, paper and spoken word.