Writing is, generally speaking, a lonely endeavor. When I open up Scrivener, I don’t need a committee to tell me what to write; it’s just me and the blank page. This works well for me. I’m an introvert, so spending time alone, lost in an imaginary world is about as close to perfect as I can imagine.
However, writing is also hard. Daily writing is a habit, and it’s oh-so-easy to fail. Habits need accountability, reinforcement, and encouragement. This is where a writing group becomes invaluable. My group consists of five women, including myself. We’re all interconnected, through work, existing friendships, or both. No one in the group is published, and though we’d like that to change, we write because we enjoy it.
Because all five of us have dark hair and Apple laptops, we have been humorously dubbed the “Brunettes With Macs Write Better” group. We get together for a couple hours once or twice a week to eat dinner and then write. It gives us a chance to commiserate about the tough times, rejoice in the good times, and be sociable while also increasing our word count.
Even though the group is highly informal, just knowing I am going is often enough to get me to put words on paper. We don’t guilt each other for not writing (well, except for the occasional good-natured ribbing). We meet in order to be lonely together, which is a whole lot more fun than being lonely alone.
If you’re a writer who is tired of being cooped up in your house, I highly recommend joining or starting a writing group. It doesn’t have to be formal or rigid, a group of like-minded friends is good enough. Just make sure that social time has a set time limit, such as while you’re eating dinner, and writing time actually happens, or you’ve created a social group instead of a writing group. Which is fine, but it’s not going to help you write your novel any faster.