Saturday, June 5, 2021

Online Writing Groups--Open the Doors!

Over the years I have been in our writing group (13?), we have seen people come and go, sometimes staying for a few meetings and sometimes staying for a year or more, but this year has been different.   In the year of the 'Rona while our writing group has met online, we have had a flurry of new members.  

Because meeting online doesn't require us to drive to the 'hood in downtown Indianapolis, we have had people join us from Washington, Gautemala, Texas, North Carolina, and other places.  This is both tremendously interesting and difficult.

Obviously, meeting online allows for people all over to join the group (during our set time at 7pm, two Tuesdays a month).  The diversity in this group is excellent.  I do not know how many new members have joined over the last year, but at a few meetings, we had over 15 attendees.  

This was both exciting and awkward.

A few of us talked offline about keeping our comments brief, but some of the newer members talked long.  With 15+ people critiquing 3 pieces in 2 hours, we ended up timing the critiques to make certain everyone had time to comment.  

As happens often in the summer, the numbers have dwindled a bit.  We have loyal members that continue to attend, and a few others are busy with writing projects (yes, exciting publishing and promoting endeavors--I hope to devote some posts to them in the future!), and they will probably return.

So as exciting as the ease of online meetings encourages more people, the large meetings have been difficult.  

This also poses a problem for us as we ease back into the world of non-'Rona.  Will we continue to meet online or develop a hybrid system?  Will this exclude the members from other places in the country and in the world?

And now I leave you with this quote.

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