This past weekend, a group of us got together for three days of editing novels, researching book material, and writing short stories. Virtually, of course. As much as we all miss writing together in person, going somewhere for this year’s retreat just wasn’t an option.
Ben’s posted before about how AWP has been adapting to online events this past year. Going virtual for a weekend of writing was another way we had to adapt. Even though it wasn’t the same as being at the same table in the same room, it was still a productive and fun experience.
For the duration of the retreat, we scheduled two writing times per day. There was no pressure to write at those times, just whoever was free. At the start of each scheduled writing session, the group of us met up for a video call to talk about our projects and other unrelated things, ’cause talking to people is something else we miss. It was a great motivator, talking shop with other writers and focusing on the work before diving in for a few hours. Having the group to hold us accountable and cheer us on helped us all to spend some time on our works in progress.
At the end of the retreat, we agreed that having another virtual weekend, even just a Saturday sometime, to do some writing together would be a good idea. Something to keep us motivated and connected to our writing community.
We’re looking forward to the day when we can safely meet up in person and attend in-person events, but until then, we’ll keep adapting.
Have you tried writing online with a couple of friends? What are some ways you’re staying connected with your writing and your writing community? Anything you’ve learned about virtual writing sessions?