I discovered joys and frustrations of forming a writing group that spans several time zones
Meeting through blogging, and chatting on Skype
For years, I dreamed of joining a local writing group. What held me back was about how my writing would be received. Were my stories good enough? Would I bore people to sleep? Also, the writing groups nearest to me seemed to all meet while I’m at work. I began to wonder if I would ever meet like-minded writers.
My big chance arrived when I signed up for the Story Cartel course. Created by Joe Bunting of the Write Practice blog, the course runs a couple of times a year in order to help new writers negotiate social media, and find their cartel.
Through this course, I connected with James of Missouri, and Sunny of Michigan, and Ann from Oregon, and together we formed Sky Writers. Joy from the Philippines, with whom I wrote my post ‘Creative Writing Across Time Zones’ also joined, as did Akira of Romania and Mirel from Israel, Topaz from Singapore, and Iain from New Zealand, and many, many more.
It’s nearly a year since we set up the group. We now have thirty-five members across several time zones. Arranging times when we can meet up on Skype is a challenge, as you can imagine. I spend my whole time thinking: James is six hours behind me, Sunny is five hours behind me, Joy and Topaz are eight hours ahead of me, etc, etc, etc. One of my frustrations is that I haven’t yet had a chance to chat to Joy, who I invited to join the group back in November last year!
It’s a real privilege to be able to share stories, and critiques, and I’ve learned so much more about writing than I ever would have done on my own. I also learned about cooties! More on that tomorrow…
Have you benefitted from being part of a writing group? Are you looking to join one? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Thanks for reading.