Finding my writing group was both the most frightening and fantastic thing ever. After I picked up writing again after I had taken time off while my kids were young, I had been writing solo for about a year. While writing is mostly a solitary activity, I knew I needed to find support and community. I had already found a solid group of beta readers but I needed support and encouragement from other writers. When things get tough, when you feel like quitting, when you feel uninspired, or frustrated, or like no one in your life understands your passion and calling, having other writers who support you is priceless.
I found my group by Googling writing groups in my community. There were a few but the one that caught my attention for a few different reasons was a part of Meet Up called Shut Up and Write. For one, it was free to join-no membership fees. Two, there wasn’t any read alouds or critiquing involved. And three, I figured I could survive the 15 minute meet/greet at the beginning and end because there was a solid hour of silent writing time in between. I found the idea of chatting about myself/my project intimidating but the accountability intriguing.
When I went to my first meeting at the coffee shop, I was nervous. But everyone was friendly and welcoming. I decided to go again. And again. Each time it got easier and easier. Soon, I developed a friendship with the other members. Now, we talk about our projects, bounce ideas off of one another, and talk through writer’s block. Sometimes we talk about our favorite authors or craft books.
These people have become my community and my friends and I’m forever grateful to have joined. Having people like this during your writing journey is essential. I hope you have your own group and if not, that you have the opportunity to find one near you. Here’s a link for Shut Up and Write to check if there’s one in your area. https://shutupwrite.com