My first Google+ writers hangout

You’ll hear writers say that writing is a lonely business. I’ve said it. But Google+ may be changing that. Last night, I attended my first “writers hangout” hosted by Jason Sanford. It started at 9pm and went on for close to two-and-a-half hours, following some basic rules that Mary Robinette Kowal suggested earlier in the week. In a nutshell:

  1. We meet at the designated time and pop into the Hangout.
  2. We chat for 15 minutes.
  3. We write for 45 minutes.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3.

It was a great experience. With the video and voice capabilities of a hangout, we could see each other while we were chatting, and also while we were writing. During the writing, the sounds become like pleasant white noise. It is motivating. Everyone else is writing and you want to write, too. Best of all, you get to hangout with such cool people. There were as many as 10 people in the hangout last night: Jason Sanford, Mary Robinette Kowal, Juliette Wade, John DeNardo, Paolo Bacigalupi, Janet Harriet, Patrick Thurnstrom, Adam Callaway, Brian Dalton, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Shaun Duke, and Scott Roberts.

Also, one of Mary’s puppets made an occasional appearance.

I joined the session at 9, stepped out at 9:30 to take part in an SF Signal Podcast (about which I’ll have more to say later), and came back when it was done. All told, I managed to write some 1,600 words and did so in a sympathetic environment with folks from all over the place. It was great, and I will absolutely be doing this again.

Many thanks to Jason Sanford for hosting the Hangout.


  1. It was great to see you, Jamie! The opportunities of this medium boggle my mind. I’m going to be trying a hangout for a worldbuilding discussion next Wednesday. I hope to be able to do more writing hangouts as well – I definitely find them motivating.

  2. It was definitely a blast, and a productive two hours for me!

    I seriously liked how hangouts functions and the use for digital write-ins I think is going to be quite popular.

  3. Yeah, it was both fun and productive, and it’s hard to ask for more than that!

    I’m off on a road trip for the next week or so but will definitely be trying to do more of these when I get back.


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