Every six months, over the last year, my writers group has put on a one night writers conference called Jot. The third installment is less than a month away (Friday, March 14th).
Before we started writing, we were all friends. Each of us had been writing or considering it in one form or another. We each shared our secret love of writing and all of a sudden there we were, meeting about once a week to share our progress or even reading a little of our work. At the time I don’t think we realized the unique situation we had, an organically grown writers group that sprouted out of friendship. We didn’t read an article on a website or an invitation in a bookstore to connect with random individuals, it just sort of happened.
Writing is a lonely activity. I’ve said it many times on my blog that you cannot write alone, but you have to. What I mean is that, just like runners in a marathon, you need people on the sideline cheering you on and also people writing with you to help improve your craft.
The act of writing thrives in community. In community the writer receives encouragement, readers, and challenges all at the same time, three ingredients essential to any would be novelist. This is why we started Jot. Not because we wished to make money (it is free) but because we wanted to connect local writers with other local writers.
If you are a writer in the West Michigan area, or within driving distance, I hope you’ll come out for our event. If anything, our lineup is fantastic. You’ll hear presentations from professional novelists, one on screenwriting, have a chance to attend a free poetry workshop with a poetry editor of a literary magazine, and a presentation from a publisher. I believe, however, you’ll get more than that. Your passion for writing will be ignited and you might find a writing friend or two to meet with regularly, that is our desire.
Writing thrives in community. I hope to see you Friday, March 14th at 7pm at Baker Book House on East Paris in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Until then, write every day!