Writing from a distance: good, bad, both?

“I’m thankful for serendipitous moments in my life, where things could’ve gone the other way.”~Rick Springfield, American musician

It should come as no surprise to anyone, but I write about coffee shops.

The activity in coffee shops is fascinating, better than people watching in a mall food court. Sometimes. I have enough poignant moments and sparkling events and interesting interactions that I can write a novel about them. Right now, I write blog posts.

I still contribute a monthly post to my Michigan writers group. I helped initiate the group’s blog, Deadwood Writers Voices, and moderator John ran with it and maintains an excellent site. The blog encourages our members to write about their passions and interests, everything from romance to travel to video games. There’s something for everyone. It’s eclectic reading with writers posting on the same date each month. My Coffee Shop Chronicles post on the 18th.

That’s the great thing about the Internet is the ability to write remotely. The un-great thing is the absence of interaction.

Sure, I write articles from a distance and email them to my editors. This is different. Maybe because it’s not work and where I’m expected to communicate electronically. Maybe it’s the personal relationships I formed. I write, but I miss talking with the group members after their latest blogposts goes live or recruiting newer members to write for the blog.

Writing something is better than not writing, right?

My bimonthly critiques fell aside with my move to New Jersey. The group’s meeting location has changed since I left, and the new places are awkward for some members to travel to. There has always been an issue on those Wednesday nights when someone is out of town on business, sick with the flu, home with a stubbed toe or choosing not to drive at night. The group is working on ways to involve members who can’t be there in person for the critiques, something I’m willing to be a test subject for. We’ve tried Skype, Google Groups and once iMessage. I long for that close-enough interaction. Interacting some is better than not interacting, right? Nothing has stuck yet. Any ideas?

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