Recently, one of my most favorite-est online writers’ communities added a new feature. (It’s for members, so I won’t add a direct link, but since basic membership is free, click on through, sign up, and take a look around.)
It is not a chat room.
Okay… well, it’s a chat room. Except the general idea isn’t to chat about your work. Oh, no. This is a chat room that’s not a chat room. It’s a come in, greet your fellow writers, and get to work room. Sort of a working quietly on your own in the presence of others room. Study hall for writers. The expectation is that you will study.
The rules are: NO CHATTING! You come in, state your goals, and get to work. Sometimes, there are word sprints. Sometimes there are tiny little bits of info about what you’re working on. But there is NO CHATTING.
And–believe it or not–it’s working fairly well for me.
I’ve mastered the fine art of emoji-only greetings, and showing up.
I do pretty well, when I know people are expecting me to be somewhere, and expecting me to work.
Now, admittedly, the internet is a broad and wonderful place, and it has tabs, so I won’t swear there’s no “research” going on in the background, but by and large, I’ve been moving forward through the magic of peer pressure.
Togetherness–such as it is–is working. And if I were in a real-life work space, it would work the same way. Very quiet–so you don’t bother anyone else–and moving forward, because other people are there, and it’s one of the few places where people actually care whether you write a novel or not. No one is going to tell you you should quit and become an insurance agent, for instance.
I’m still fiddling with website efficiency here. Do you feel all optimized? No? Well, I’m playing balance function with resources. I’m going to have to look around and see what I can live without, or what I can smooth out, because I’m not running all that smoothly.