Yesterday the Writing Lab had its fifth annual end-of-year party and reading. I wanted to post something–even though today has been a little crazy at my house–just to say “What an amazing group of people.”
We are a small but dedicated band of writers, all of us in some way associated with Everett Community College. We meet once a week for an hour and half. And we write. We are not a critique group, though after we write for 40 minutes or so, we are welcome to read some work aloud, and sometimes there is a very gentle critique. Mostly what we do is witness one another. In fact, one member, Louise, calls it “Writing with Witnesses.”
For a long time, when I was teaching alongside everything else I try to do, the Writing Lab kept me alive. I have a very sturdy habit of writing in a journal every morning, but writing for an audience, even a very small, intimate audience of 3 or 4 other writers is a gift.
If you’re looking for a writing group, you may want to think, first, about what you want from your writing group. Maybe you’re ready for critique, but if you’re not, you will still benefit from having some witnesses to your process. (Lauren Sapala wrote about this topic on her blog this week, too.)
Good luck finding your witnesses.
And thank you to mine (on the blog, too!).