For much of the latter half of 2016, I’ve been trying to write a novel. No, that’s not true. I started a novel, and then didn’t get back to it until the year was almost over. After writing four books, I know the secret to writing a book: there is no secret. You have to actually write it and sometimes it’s difficult!
On New Year’s Eve, our friend Heykel introduced us to his friend Tiffany and the four of us decided that we’ll become a writing group on Friday nights. The concept of group writing always seemed, well, unpalatable, but plenty of successful writers have done it. So, when Derek and I were invited to join, I decided to give the opportunity a George-Costanza “opposite” response to my impulse, and say yes.
My writing has been a solitary pursuit. It begins with staring into space, then at the screen, followed by a wild flurry of fingertips maniacally hitting keys until the staring starts again. A big part of writing is thinking that looks a lot like doing nothing.
Derek is writing a project based on notes from Heykel, and he has an idea for a novel. Tiffany is also writing a book and she and Heykel have found that writing together has a lot of benefits. It forces them to actually make time to write, to treat it as important, despite all of the other things that need doing. Writing with others makes you accountable to them. At the end of the hour, you need to explain a bit about what you’ve written and, perhaps, allow the others to make suggestions. (That’s how we’re going to do it.) Sharing unfinished writing is a scary prospect but there’s support in the room. Everyone knows what you’re going through.
Tonight, fuelled by tall glasses of water and Tiffany’s hydro, we’ll fire up our laptops and hit the keys together with a goal of adding each other to the acknowledgements pages of our upcoming published works!