Last summer, a writing friend Justine and I started using the Hangout feature on Google + to organize what is now known as the Writers’ Hangout. Every Wednesday and some Saturdays, we invited anyone on Twitter with a Google + account to come write with us. It was some of the most fun and productive writing time I had last year, and even on those nights where my page count didn’t shoot up, I had at least had a night commiserating with other writers.
Here’s the thing, for me: I like writing with the writers I’ve met online, and I like the closeness & proximity of writing with someone in person.
The Writers’ Hangout on Google + let’s Justine and I recreate this in person writer meet-up as much as possible, and we get to write with all the wonderful writers we’ve met online. In a Google + Hangout, if you don’t know, you have video and audio — it’s so much fun to see and hear my writing friends for a few hours a week.
Here’s how Writers’ Hangout works: on a set night at a set time, you log into Google + and you join the Writers’ Hangout that Justine & I will be hanging out in. Then, you turn on your webcam (if you don’t have video, you can use a static picture), you put your head phones in, and we all chit-chat for about 20 minutes while everyone gets through this step. Then, we do time set writing sessions – as a group, we’ll pick how long we want to focus on any given night. Usual timed writes range from 15 minutes to 45 minutes. We take a 10 minute break to relax, chat, seek any advice we need, and occasionally watch a YouTube video together. Then, we write again, break again, write again… you get the idea. You can stay as long or as short as you want; the Hangout lasts as long as you want it to.
In August, Writers’ Hangout will be making a comeback for the month. The tentative plan is to have a video chat on a week night, and a standard text chat on a weekend day. So today, I have two questions for you.
First, would you be interested in joining Writers’ Hangouts with us in August?
If yes, please say so in the comment, and then find me here on Google + to add me to a circle; be sure to tell me that you want to join Writers’ Hangout so I add you to the proper circle on my end! (Or, if you don’t want to do any work, post the link to your Google + page in my comments, and I’ll add you to the right circle.)
Second, what week night (and weekend day) and what start time would work best for you?
This is about creating an online writing community you can use, and while ultimately Justine & I will have to pick a time that also fits into our schedules, I do want input from anyone interested in joining. (A thing to consider when offering up a time — west coasters are behind the rest of us, so make sure you try for at time that doesn’t put them in the middle of dinner or still at work.)
I hope some of you are interested in Writers’ Hangout in August! It’s been a blast in the past. If you want personal testimonies about that, I’m sure I can direct you to the right Twitter account (I promise, I won’t just steer you towards Justine!). So, leave your answers in the comments. Leave questions if you’ve got ‘em. Spread the word about the Writers’ Hangout. For the most up-to-date information on Writers’ Hangout, it’s best to follow me (@baileykelsey) and follow Justine (@Fickle_Muse) on Twitter.