Many writers approach writing organizations looking for critique groups, people to give them feedback on their writing and so on. What is rarely asked for or offered, at least on a consistent basis, is a chance for writers to come together—breaking their lonely bubble—and simply write. Setting time apart in this hectic world where most writers have to keep at least a primary full time job to pay the bills while they work equally hard, if not harder, to get their list of novels they are working on into a publisher, bought by the public, and marketing their work out to the world. That is one of the purposes of having write-ins.
Many of us have our writing schedules—and sometimes those schedules are interrupted by life’s commitments. Write-ins are a time to commit to the art. A write-in is a gathering of writers who will go to someone’s home, or a bar, a coffee shop, a bookstore, or somewhere where they can ply their creative craft for a set time. There, gathered with other writers, you can share and feed on the creative synergy being created—driving you to work and not feel alone. It is also a time when you can pick other writers’ brains to break writer blocks, get suggestions, or test a story’s hypothesis.
Writing organizations, usually due to size and the amount of time it takes to manage a write-in, will not put together write-ins on a constant schedule. How does a writer access these wellsprings of creative juices? If you want a write-in, you should create one. While it is difficult for a writing organization to do it, it is not difficult for a few writers to pull it off. All you need is:
1. A group of writers who you believe you can write around;
2. A group of writers who want to do it (they can all be of the same genre or of various);
3. A place to hold it (Ask your local coffee shops, bars, etc. or just show up.);
4. A way to organize it (Social media that has a way to create events is a great platform. Or if everyone has outlook or Google Calendars, they will work as well.); and
5. A simple set of rules (like how to signal to others that you are writing or ways it is ok to interrupt others who are writing to bounce questions off them).
Write-ins are not all about the writing. They are also times to be social with other writers, reminders that you are not alone in the art, and a chance to share each other’s successes or hindrances. But, with that said, it is important to remember that the primary purpose of a write-in is in the name: WRITE!
Thank you for reading and please visit www.davidalanlucas.com and www.thewriterslens.com. You can also follow me on twitter @Owlkenpowriter and the Writer’s Lens @TheWritersLens. Fiction is the world where the philosopher is the most free in our society to explore the human condition as he chooses.