I knew that there was no way I could go without writing this year. I did not care how much schoolwork I had, how long my classes were, or how little time I had to socialize. I knew that I needed to write. The problem was: how could I fit my writing in with the rest of my schedule? After all, I had essays to write and two jobs to work. It was hardly likely that I would have very much time, or even motivation, to develop my own creative writing.
And then something occurred to me. I had been talking to other people in my program who happened to like creative writing as well. I had been in a creative writing group at my high school, and even been the head of it in my graduating year. As it turned out, a lot of these people had too. We had agreed to swap work, but once the school year started there was simply no time to read what other people had written.
That’s when the divine thunderclap whacked me upside the head: we needed a writers’ group at my college. We needed a place where, once every couple of weeks, people could shut down their computers, drop their textbooks, and taken an hour or so to share inspiration and work. I posed the idea to a guy who had actually founded a writing group in his high school, and together we spread awareness of the new group.
A good few people came to our first meeting, and we listened as a girl read her poetry. We gave her some feedback and talked about our influences as writers. The next week we gathered around a tree outside, thinking up ideas for a mutual project we could do as a club. I thought that we could each develop a character around a phobia, and everyone else agreed that it seemed like a fine idea. I randomly distributed phobias, one per person, and the next week we got together and shared the characters we had developed from the phobias.
It was an amazing experience. Each person had created a character that was completely unexpected. The phobias were rooted in completely contrasting backgrounds to what one might have thought, and they drove the characters’ lives in wild and impossible ways. We felt like we really knew these characters, hearing their authors describe them in great depth and detail. We even joked about how we could get all of these characters to meet. The joke turned into a project, and now we are working on putting them together somehow.
So what’s my advice of the week? Join a writing group. If you are already in one, power to you. A group is a wonderful place to get motivated, get feedback, and get inspiration from other writers your age. They will bring worlds of different experiences to the group, and that variety will show in your writing. All types of people coming together to create something special is how writing can be both a solitary and a social pursuit, and one well worth pursuing.