Starting a Writing Group at Work

writing-group-at-workMany people have dreams of becoming writers—whether it’s fiction prose or research articles. Unfortunately, real life can get in the way and a large portion of dreamers take jobs unrelated to the kind of writing they had in mind, and soon stop writing. Poetry writing takes a backseat to planning lessons for kindergarten classes and all those articles about how to care for neighborhood trees stop for to make way for time-consuming meetings at work. Work isn’t the enemy though. In fact, it can lead to a great deal of creativity and a lot of potential motivation if you harness its powers.

Firstly, there are usually a great deal of different kinds of people at work. And secondly, most jobs have a lot of space and resources available to you. These two details are the perfect start for creating a writing group at your job. How exactly would you go about doing this? Below are some important factors to consider before jumping right in.

  • Members – You’ve got a great deal of people at your fingertips, and this is really going to be the strength of your group. Think about what kind of writing you’d really like to focus on, or if you’re just starting to get back into writing, try opening it up to a free-choice writing session before closing off some options. You can later poll the group to find out where everyone’s interests are. The most important thing is to gather as many motivated people in one space as possible.
  • Space – Your job probably has some open space they’d be willing to allow you to use after or before work hours. If you work in an office building or education setting, there’s usually some classroom or meeting space you can use as a base. If there’s no available space within your job, you know at a minimum that you have a place where everyone can meet before going somewhere else. Is there a place nearby like a café or a tea room that will host your writing group for a few hours? Sometimes businesses are willing to work out deals with writing groups because more often than not, they bring in business.
  • Time – When and how long will your group meet? Remember to keep schedules in mind, and think about the kind of members you want to gather. If most of your members have families then having a late night group may not work out best for them. Likewise, membership is sure to drop if you’re meeting too often or not often enough. This is another item you might want to poll your group about either before you start meeting or during your first get together.
  • Goals – Finally, you’ll want to have a rough idea of what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you all serious writers looking to finish publishable projects? Are you bloggers? Are you just trying to loosely get back into the habit of writing every day? Pick a goal, but try not to be too strict. If you start getting really picky about what you hope to accomplish, it makes it hard to recruit willing participants, and also makes it easy to get disappointed with the outcomes. This is supposed to be a happy group! Keep it light!

Regardless of what you decide when you start your group, remember to make it your own. Especially remember to keep it fun, honest, and friendly. At a minimum, you’ll find yourself starting a new writing group—but more than likely you’ll find yourself inspired and surrounded by new friends.