“I can’t find the time to write.”

“Too many interruptions.”

“I get distracted.”

“I’m too busy.”

When I said that last one, a tough love colleague barked, (well he didn’t really bark, but it seemed like it) “Come on – Either you want to write this book or you don’t.” A lighter version of “Either #%*@ or get off the pot.” And so I began to change my writing habits and attitude.

WRITING GROUPS WORK: Since 1999 I’ve been a member of one writing group or another that meets for the sole purpose of writing. I know this weekly commitment added to the success of completing my first book, Thinking of Miller Place. When I moved to Arizona in 2009 I knew a writing group that writes was an idea that worked. Sure enough, the second book came together, got revised, edited, and published ––Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. The same has held true for contest submissions, speeches, presentations. If I show up, the “space” is there––the writing gets done.

Writers commit to meet each week at a set time and place with the promise of no interruptions, no cell phones, no one saying “Hey, you’ll be home, you can take care of the plumber/delivery/laundry/kids…”

The Eastside Writing Room is open to all adult writers. You don’t have to live on the eastside of Tucson but it cuts down on travel time if you live near the two hosting locations (private residences). For those not on the eastside, you can trek over by us, but why not try the Downtown Writers Table––an offshoot of our Eastside group.

We state our intentions for the two-hour period and then laptops open, pen to yellow pad, and write in blessed silence.

Here’s what some of our writers say about the Eastside Writing Room:

From Hank: I belong to Eastside Writing Room because I am writing for myself and my family. As a new writer, I need the discipline of setting aside a few hours each week to just put my thoughts and memories into words. I find the writers at Eastside Writing Room comfortable and supportive.

From Bee Bloeser: What a blessing to have discovered this group over three years ago when I was beginning to write my memoir. Critique groups have been of vital importance, but I needed both kinds of support. Two hours of silent, focused writing time helps clarify direction for moving things forward another notch, especially after having declared our intention to our fellow writers.

From Rhema: I am a terrible procrastinator. If I sit down at my computer to write, unless I’m really charged up, I usually end up taking a prolonged break and playing games on Facebook. Having two hours to do nothing but sit and write forces me to get something done. As many authors have said – just write something. It’s a start. You can polish it up later.
I am in a critique group, but we meet irregularly – unfortunately. The Eastside Writing Room is just for writing, not critique. It gets me a push to do more during the rest of the week.

From Rita: I am in this writing group because I have a story to share and I felt that this is the right time for me to share. I enjoy the group and everyone in it, as well as it helps me to write and make the time. This has been a great experience for me.  -Rita Lake – with Realty Executives

From Beth: I love this writing group.  Everyone is serious-minded and we get down to work in short order.  I cannot explain why, but I get some of my best writing done here.  Maybe there is a magic vibe in a room when one is with other writers writing.  I am working on a memoir and have made great progress since joining this group.

Are you in a writing group? What kind? How’s it working for you?

You are welcome to give the Eastside Writing Room a try. Contact Ethel.


Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships.