M – Meetup: Where Are All The Writers?!?

As we all know, writing can be a very lonely hobby and profession.  If it’s your full time job, you may spend up to 8 hours of the day, like Stewart O’Nan, at your computer or desk or typewriter or notebook.  If it’s a hobby, you probably try to spend at least a couple of hours, like me, at your computer, et al, and 8 hours or more at work, and hours with family, and (if you’re lucky) at least 7 to 8 hours sleeping.  (Wouldn’t that be nice!)  With all that time alone, how do you get to meet people, socialize, find other writers who share your pain and celebrations?

One of the greatest tools I have found is Meetup.com.  Meetup.com is a website devoted to bringing people together via the internet to meet in real life activities and events.  They can be found in most every city – the major hubs, obviously, but some smaller cities too.  (When I searched my hometown, which is notably smaller than my current city of residence, I found over 100.  Flint, Michigan with a population of just 100,000 also had over 100 groups.)

Now, you may be thinking, “What does that have to do with writing?”  Well, like I say; writing can be a lonely business, but humans are generally social animals.  So finding a group that you can cut loose with is important.  The site has groups that are of vast interests and purposes.  Let’s remember, too, that writing is a sedentary activity, so if you can find a group that goes on a hike once a week or gets together for tennis or other sport, you can get some exercise too.

And, of course,  every city I searched had at least one group of writers.  If you can get in with a good writing group, you are on your way to completion and success. While Meetup is not the only way, it is one of several ways to find a good writing group that can help advise you and critique your work. I attribute the completion of my first MS entirely to a writing group I attended for about 5 years.  A good group can be an excellent source of motivation, wonderful critique, and a solace when you are struggling with your work.

So look for a good Meetup in your area, and get out and find writers!

 

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7 Comments

Filed under life of a writer, reading, writing

7 responses to “M – Meetup: Where Are All The Writers?!?

  1. hvanderhoop

    Thanks for sharing our post on writing groups! Great point that groups devoted to activities other than writing can also help writers — it’s good to get away from the computer every so often!

    • Jennifer Marshburn

      Thanks for all you do with The Write Life! I’ve only recently found the site, but it has been so helpful. I hope others will find it as great a resource as I have. Thank you for reading!

      • hvanderhoop

        I’m glad you’re enjoying the site! We’re trying our best to be helpful — if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see, let me know (heather@thewritelife.com). Best of luck with the rest of your blog challenge!

  2. I’ve never considered a meet with writers beyond passing curiosity. I prefer meeting with my friends I write about. To be fair, I’m also not much of a social animal.

    When I’m not writing, I get away from all things writing and go bicycling, jogging, or pursue astronomy, occasionally with others. Great things to learn from people with different backgrounds, and I imagine meeting writers in person would prove an interesting experience.

    • Jennifer Marshburn

      I can’t say it enough: If you can find a good fit in a writing group, join up. It is immensely helpful, not just for the critique, but for the support of having people who really understand and sympathize with what you do. Thanks for reading.

  3. I actually found Meetup to be very successful for finding serious writers. The only problem for me now is that living internationally I can’t meet up in person. I haven’t given up yet, it just makes things a little more difficult. I may just have to start one and hope for the best. Great A to Z post!- Shelina

    • Jennifer Marshburn

      Shelina, I’m sorry that you are not having luck finding a group abroad. I thought, though I don’t know why, that Meetup was available internationally. Like I say, I have no basis for that, but I am surprised to hear it. I say don’t be afraid to start your own group though! All you need are a few like-minded, interested, and interesting writers who want to improve their work. In my experience, keeping the group small (absolutely no more than ten, but I’d stay fairly well under even that mark) is best. The woman who started my group found me typing on my computer in a coffee shop and asked if I wrote, then invited me to join them. I would highly recommend finding a public space to meet to begin. I hope you are able to get something started. I cannot express how much a group helped me!

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