#IWSG – Write-ins are fun (and essential)

My little contribution to the Insecure Writer’s Group this month is a commentary on a write-in I went to today.

The Busan Writing Group met today, and we all wrote away together. One member supplied the prompt from a workshop he had attended in the past:

I don’t know why I remember {something}, but …

We all agreed to start our works with this line or a slight variation. We gave ourselves a limit of 1 hour and 1000 words.

What came out?

One member devised two poems from the line. Another wrote two whole pieces, each around 1000 words. I managed one, terrible work, of around 650 words. Maybe it just seemed to me that mine was really bad – the other works all sounded much better!

I asked if the other members had MFAs or other similar degrees. No one did, yet. What was the difference? They practice. They write. Every day. I write often, but every day? No, I can’t claim that – and I think it shows as my concepts that develop as I write are far bigger than my writing skill can handle. I need more experience writing to both a) know what ideas I can work with in a certain word limit and b) know writing tricks to handle the big concepts in my head.

I think everyone at the write-in got something out of it. The time-limit, and the kinship of knowing that your peers are writing alongside you is just invaluable. I’m not sure the feeling can be adequately recreated online – I felt far more motivated to write than I’ve ever felt in any online group.

So my questions for the IWSG are:

What are your experiences with write-ins?

Have you ever tried an online “write-in”?

Do you also find that meeting in person motivates you more strongly than meeting and writing online?