JOT II is right around the corner (next week Friday, September 13th, to be precise…) At this JOT my writers group will be hosting a panel discussion. We, the Weaklings, will be the panel. We’ve never done something like this before. To be honest, the whole thing feels a little pretentious. We certainly don’t mean it to be, and I hope on the night of JOT it doesn’t come off that way. But I thought I’d tell the story of the panel discussion here, just in case anyone thinks we’re getting big heads. :)
The last JOT totally surprised us. We couldn’t believe 60 people showed up to hear us talk about writing. It was a jaw dropping night for us. We made new friends, we connected with old ones, and everyone that came was so responsive to our presentations. We didn’t count on any of that happening. Honestly, we would’ve been happy if just five people had shown up, much less 60.
Something else we didn’t count on was a common question from attendees. All four of us were asked the same thing by different people:
“How can I find / start / join a writers group?”
None of us knew that question was coming and so none of us had a very good answer ready. As we debriefed after JOT, and as we talked to other writers in other groups, we realized that there really isn’t one way to answer this question. Like so many other situations in life, how you join or start a writers group is different for everyone.
After talking about it for a while we decided to have a panel discussion on the topic of writers groups during JOT II. We want to take a few minutes and try to provide a quality answer to this question. We’ll tell the story of how we got started writing together, what the benefits are to being in a group, and how to fight against the indefatigable tide of “real life” that makes you think you’re “too busy” to be in your group.
If you’re in the greater Grand Rapids area I hope you’ll consider coming to JOT II next week. It’s fun, it’s free, and you’ll meet a lot of other writers in a very casual, easy-going setting. See you there.