You’re a writer.
That means you write.
Writing is hard. Creative writing is hard. The ideas burst forth at inconvenient times. Life gets in the way of us flexing our creative muscles. More often than not, it’s easier to throw in the towel, to say, “Not today, muse!”
I know I need to commit to my writing, and I know that means showing up regularly. I also know I am not the only one who struggles with this. One way I am facing the challenge is through accountability and a new event I’m hosting twice monthly on Zoom – a write-in.
What is a write-in, you say?
A write-in (also known as a co-write) is an event that brings writers together with the goal of each participant making progress on a personal writing project. These events can take shape in different ways. Some are virtual, and others are in-person. Some last for two hours while others last for one. Some involve writing prompts while others do not.
Regardless of the structure or the location (physical or virtual), the main purpose of a write-in is to offer community and accountability to writers who want to make progress on their writing. It is a way to stay committed and on track with our creative projects, despite the noise of life.
Recently, I started hosting two free virtual write-in events each month. Here’s what happens:
1) We meet on Zoom, at a predetermined, regularly scheduled date/time:
– 1st Wednesday of the month @ 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
– 3rd Wednesday of the month @ 6:30-7:45 p.m.
2) We start with a quick check-in. I ask attendees what they brought to work on or what specific goal they have for today’s writing time.
3) Then, we hit the ground (or page) running. I set a timer, and we write. For an hour. This is QUIET time, time to get your creative work done. Although everyone is working alone, we are alone together, all working on our writing at the same time. THIS is the accountability piece.
4) Since we are on Zoom, you can choose to write with your screen turned on or off.
5) I announce a five-minute “come to a stopping point” warning at 55 minutes in.
6) At the one-hour mark, I call everyone back together on Zoom.
7) We spend 5-10 minutes talking through any highs/lows of the past hour. Everyone establishes their next immediate step in their writing project.
8) We meet again at the next scheduled write-in time.
You might think of a write-in as a power tool for getting your writing done. It is a built-in mechanism to keep you from procrastinating on your work-in-progress. Being present holds you accountable. Writing in community reminds you that you don’t have to go it alone. And hearing from and interacting with other writers during the brief check-in and check-out periods offers added insight into creative processes and often a new way to look at your story.
By showing up regularly for a set amount of time, you are able to meet small, sustainable goals, over and over. That means you will make progress faster on your story. And, you get to be a part of something bigger than you – we come together in a community with a shared purpose.
For anyone who struggles to make writing (as in, their own writing projects) a priority, a write-in might be just the tool you need to set and meet your writing goals – AND finish that writing project!
Writing is lonely work. It has to be. No one can put words on paper quite like you can. But it doesn’t mean that we have to live in a vacuum all the time.
If a write-in sounds like something you might want to be a part of, I would love for you to join us. We meet on Zoom the first Wednesday of the month at 11 a.m. MT and the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. MT. You can join both sessions or just one – whatever fits your schedule and interest. Sign up to receive twice monthly reminders here, or contact me if you have questions.