Lunched yesterday at Basai Thai restaurant in Oakbrook with three of our six critique group members. We check in daily online, but hadn’t ever gathered in the same place because we hail from all over the country—San Francisco, New Hampshire, Georgia, and the Chicago area. It was a rare treat to visit face to face and hear each other's voices and enjoy conversation that ranged from process to Vermont College to the trials of teens and dating.
Someone, maybe R, suggested we get together more often. I agree. Don’t get me wrong. I love, love, love the convenience of meeting online. Doing so allows the freedom to crit in my pjs at midnight sans make-up if I want to. But our coming together...coming together was good. Not only did it get this isolated writer out of the house and away from my keyboard, it connected me with other writers who understand the creative process so well there’s no need to explain what I do or why I do it. And there's no need to justify why I’m still working on the same book.
Yes, we need to get together more often. Ideally, we can find a way for all of us to gather each year. Perhaps an SCBWI national conference? Until then, I'm thrilled to have a face and voice to place with the names on the screen. Happy writing!