Monday, January 16, 2023

Join a Write-In to Meet Other Writers and Boost Your Productivity - by Janet Alcorn

 Writing is solitary work. We labor over our stories alone in our offices or, since this is Arizona, on our patios. Maybe we make time to meet up with other authors once a month for a workshop, but mostly we toil away on our own. That’s fine, but what if we could meet up with other writers, virtually or in person, and just… write together? Well, we can! Getting together to write is called a write-in, and since it’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), write-ins are happening all over the world. In fact, I host one every week on Saturdays, and you can join! Details are at the end of this article, but first, let’s talk about why you might want to join a write-in.

4 Reasons to Join a Write-In

Boost your productivity.
People who write books about building healthy habits usually offer at least two pieces of advice: schedule time for your new activity and find someone to do it with. You want to exercise? Put gym time on your calendar and find a buddy to go with you. We’ll bail on ourselves, but we’ll think twice before we bail on someone else. That’s how write-ins work. The meeting is on my calendar, and people are expecting me to show up, so I do. And when I’m there, I write. No excuses, and no scrolling social media. Everyone else is writing, so I do too.

Meet other writers.
Other writers “get” us in ways normal people don’t. When you tell another writer your character told you she was gay while you were in the shower (yes, this actually happened to me), they smile along and share their stories of characters who wouldn’t stay in their author-assigned boxes. When you tell a normal person such a thing, they back away slowly and lose your number.

Find support and encouragement.
Other writers can be a huge source of support, especially when you’re struggling. Other writers can talk you down after you get a bad review or your 247th rejection. They can celebrate your successes with you and remind you that you and your work have value. They can understand your frustrations and laugh with you about the absurdities and frustrations of this business.

Make friends.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, American adults are more isolated than ever; in a recent survey, 49% reported they had three or fewer friends, and 12% said they had no close friends (see Friendship Study). Joining a write-in could help you make friends AND get writing done. What’s not to love?

Where Can I Find a Write-In?

Thanks to videoconferencing, anyone can join a write-in from anywhere in the world as long as they have a decent internet connection. In-person write-ins are also resuming in many communities. Here are a few places to find a write-in:

1. Your city’s NaNoWriMo group. Visit, create an account, and under Community, select Find a Region. Arizona NaNo regions include Flagstaff, Tucson, East Valley, Patagonia, Phoenix, Prescott, Yuma, and Elsewhere. Some NaNo groups are resuming in-person write-ins this year, and many do virtual write-ins as well.

2. Other local writing groups. To find them, search Facebook or or check with your local public library. 

3. Professional associations. Sisters in Crime ( offers several write-ins per day throughout NaNoWriMo and occasionally during the rest of the year. Check with your favorite association to see what’s available. 

4. Online writing communities. Some writing instructors have created online communities for their students, and some of those communities include write-ins. For example, I take classes from Margie Lawson ( and some of her students and instructors host write-ins—including (drum roll please)—me!

How to Join My Write-In

I host a write-in through every Saturday morning from 7-8 AM with an optional social time from 6:30-7:00 (No, “AM” is not a misprint, and yes, a copious amount of caffeine is involved). There are three other write-ins available if you don’t want to drag yourself out of bed early on a Saturday. To join any of them:

1. Go to and sign up for an account. It’s free, and all you need is an email and a password.
 3. Click Add to Cart (don’t worry—it’s still free)
 4. Click either View Cart or Go to Checkout
 5. Click Place Order

You’ll get the Zoom links for all LWA write-ins, including mine, on the next screen and in your email. You can also access the classroom forums to chat with other writers. I don’t get any kind of compensation for either referring you to LWA or hosting the write-ins. 

I’m also willing to host a separate write-in for Arizona Authors Association members. If you’re interested, shoot me an email (, and we’ll get something scheduled.

Happy writing! 

Janet is a librarian, published short story author, and aspiring novelist. She writes mostly suspense and horror with the occasional foray into other genres. Learn more about Janet and her writing at:

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