Updated: May 19, 2020
Croquet is one of the few yard games that's fun when only three people are available to play. During shelter in place, I'm learning that a writers group is also fun (and productive) with only three people! When the coronavirus pandemic arrived so did my wonderful sons—home from college. All of a sudden, I was thrust back into mommy mode. Don't get me wrong, I love mommy mode, but I struggled to keep my writing routine once the boys were back in the nest. It doesn't help that my office is above the kitchen and as soon as I hear them puttering I want to pop downstairs and cook breakfast for them.
Last summer, I was lucky enough to attend The Green Mountain Writers Conference
at the Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden, Vermont. It was an absolute joy to sit in a room with other writers soaking up their advice and support. I left energized and armed with new tools to help me take my writing to the next level. I also left with a new group of writer friends.
As March turned into April and I was still making pancakes, I wondered if some of the folks from the conference were having trouble sticking to their good habits as well. So, I sent out an email to see if anyone was interested in starting a Zoom Writers Group. Two incredible women said yes! Kathryn, Gemma, and I have been meeting weekly on Zoom since April 1st. We email about ten pages to each other on Mondays and then we meet for an hour on Thursdays for discussion
It has been a fabulous format for several reasons:
Three people is a great number for collaborating about writing—especially online. Each week, I receive two completely different views on my work. I also learn more about my own writing by reading and commenting on their work. With three people it is never overwhelming and everyone's work gets equal attention.
Having a Monday deadline has been critical for me during this time of social distancing. Heck, it just plain helps me know which day is Monday! But it also pushes me to work hard on the pages I want to email to the group. I know I finished my novel this spring because of this group—no doubt.
Setting aside Thursday as my reading, meeting, and revision day has given me a bright spot to look forward to each week. It has also become my most productive day of the week.
If you are struggling to get back into your writing groove during these strange times, I highly recommend finding or starting a small online writers group. Please let me know if you do!
Click to learn more about the work of Kathryn Holzman. Gemma doesn't have a website yet, but I'll be sure to let you know when she does.