It's been years since I was involved with Feminine Ink. I don't even know if they're still going. I started the group so I like to think that somewhere in a coffee shop in Colorado Springs, Mickey and company are going strong.
The Fem Ink (as it became known) rules were as follows:
1) I did all the prompts. Yes, I can be a control freak, but with good reason in the case of a couple regulars.
2) We wrote for about 7 minutes without stopping. If you didn't know what to write next, you wrote "I don't know what to write," or "la la la," or "Deb's a big old jerk for picking this stupid prompt." It helped thicken my skin.
3) Then everyone read what they'd written.
4) No critiquing or really commenting on the writing was allowed. This was to protect feelings and to avoid discouraging those who were just starting their writer's journey.
5) And the last rule of Fem Ink Club was no talking about Fem Ink Club. That way no one would feel they couldn't write what they wanted.
At our CWC meeting on April 26, we did something similar. I had submitted the first 300 pages of MMG at the end of March and the rest of it at the April meeting. This meant we had nothing to critique since I didn't want a partial critique--I know, picky picky picky. This experiment differed from Fem Ink in that:
1) Everyone brought in 2 prompts (although we only used 1 each)
2) Feedback on the writing was encouraged
It was fabulous. The write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants muscles were stiff. It felt good to exercise them a bit. With 4 of the 5 prompts being complete surprises, I didn't have to worry about subconsciously pre-writing anything. The feedback we got, although all positive, was very helpful. We know each other so well that what was left unsaid was just as useful as what was voiced.
Jenny threw in a twist, as she is wont to do, and said we should all expand on one of our responses and submit it this month. Which to do? Should I use one of the ones with a strong restriction? One allowed no visual descriptions and another was written without adjectives or adverbs. Or take one that will allow me to go off in any direction?
I'll read through them later and decide. Whatever I pick, I know I'm going to learn something and have fun doing it. What more can you ask for?