The four of us met several years ago in a “Writing a Non-Fiction Book” class. We shared a great respect for each other’s work and the tenacity to keep at the writing. So when the class ended, it was a no-brainer that we should form a writing group. We began meeting bi-monthly at a funky café in Harvard Square.
Our group is the literary equivalent of having a “gym buddy.” When you don’t feel like going to the gym, you force yourself because she’s counting on you. And so, the writing group keeps us all on track.
We are diverse women; the writing is our common thread. We lead very different lives, with demanding work schedules, multiple family responsibilities, and community commitments. Add to that the everyday tasks of cooking and laundry, and how much time is left for writing? For me it always comes down to this: sleep or write. Which would explain my consumption of caffeine and the circles under my eyes.
In the spirit of Virginia Woolfe’s essay “A Room of One’s Own,” we recently planned an intensive weekend of writing. We drove to Vermont, holed up in a carriage house that overlooked the Green Mountains, and we wrote. No household chores, no television, no distractions. Each of us structured our time a bit differently, but the bottom line was writing and receiving feedback in real time. Alright, I’ll admit it – there was a small side trip to the Eileen Fisher outlet store located a few miles away. But I promise, it was a very productive weekend.
Living communally reminded me of my college days. These amazing, supportive women have made a crucial impact on my life. We left Vermont with a deep sense of accomplishment. Next time – and there will be a next time – we’ll go to the ocean.