Strength in Numbers

A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I was interested in joining their writing group. Well, that’s not entirely true. We met up to talk about their writing once and we decided to forge a writing group. She brought one of her friends, I brought a couple of mine, and after two meetings, things are going pretty well. Unlike a lot of writing workshops I’ve been in, we decided this would be a working workshop. Most of us are doing some variation of Nanowrimo or just working on our own projects. The point is we’re doing it together.

Writing is a solitary act. Unlike sports, music or theatre, writing is something that is done solo. In some ways, it’s very freeing, but it’s also very lonely. It’s important to find people who we can talk with about our projects with or even just help us remember a word. I have a number of people who I talk to online about my work, but it’s nice to be able to directly talk with people the minute I have an idea (no matter how stupid it is).

My writing group helps each other, but we also motivate and push each other. We’ve started doing word wars, the prize being bragging rights and permission to use a bad pun nickname. It adds an extra element of fun to our word sprints (not to mention I’ve won twice). Will we use all the words? No. But my philosophy is if I use ten out of a thousand, that’s ten words I didn’t have before.

Having a writing clan is important. Having any kind of support network in a very lonely art gives an author a place to work through problems with simple (and sometimes silly) questions. Working in public makes the devastating distractions of the Internet or household chores (which seem so much more important when we sit down to write).

Do you have a writing clan? Where do you go when you’ve hit a creative wall?

And, hey, if you’re doing Nanowrimo? Good luck and have fun!

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