Have you ever looked at the website MeetUp.com? Several of my friends told me last year I should check it out, try new things, get out and meet new people. So I did. I joined a local writer’s group that meets monthly and writes using writing prompts. The group leader provides a prompt, a time limit, and everyone writes. When time is up, anyone who wishes to share what they wrote, shares their writing.
I attended this group for the first time in December. I was having one of those days where the depression was trying to back me into a corner and I just wasn’t myself. Honestly I had so much trouble making decisions that day, it took me all afternoon to decide whether or not to go to this group that evening. In the end, I couldn’t ignore the voice in my head telling me very sternly to go! So I went.
The group was great and I felt comfortable there. About 15 people attended the 90 minute MeetUp (the group leader limits it to 20 so there is time to share and discuss.) We ended up writing only two prompts and were given 10-15 minutes to write each. Several people shared their writing after each prompt and discussion was held. It was very interesting for me to hear other people’s thoughts as they wrote very differently from me. Most used dialogue in their writing which is not something I have attempted (yet.)
Did I share my writing? No. Both prompts began as the prompt and turned into stream of consciousness “therapy writing” for me. When I walked out of the group that evening I felt so much better. Almost as if some invisible weight had been lifted from my brain and shoulders. I am not sure what exactly shifted but I knew attending this group each month when my schedule allows is important for me at this point in my life. I hope not every session is therapy for me. It would be interesting if bits of a future story emerged at some point.
Do you attend MeetUp writing groups or other local groups? Why? What have these groups done to help you as a person and writer?
© 2015, Jennifer Holik, Woodridge, IL