For the last three years, I've participated in National Novel Writing Month, an insane worldwide endeavor to write 50,000 words of book during the month of November. Part of the wonder of NaNoWriMo comes in the pep talks, forum conversations, and general sense of community as you commiserate with fellow writers near and far. During NaNoWriMo, we are plagued with sleep deprivation, self-doubt, plot holes, and the ever-looming deadline. To assuage these problems, many WriMos meet for group writing sessions, sympathy, and fun. I've never attended one of these "write-ins", but I've always wished I could.
On Thursday, my fellow professional writing majors and I ate dinner together. I sat at a table of mostly freshman. We'd seen each other in classes and exchanged a few words, but this was our real meeting. We started with names. And we talked (naturally) about books. Then our favorite authors. What we like about writing. What we want to write.
Even though I love NaNoWriMo, it has never been the kind of writing community for me that it is for other people. But now I am part of a group of writers. We may not be the Inklings, (though for the most part we are C.S. Lewis fans; this is Taylor University, after all) but it is a group of people with whom I can share my writing failures and successes. I know I'll find someone who understands if I complain that my dialogue is dead, or will get what makes this book or that completely brilliant. We're just starting out... but I may have found my writing group at last.