In the rapid-fire world we live in, more and more people are desperate for contemplative experience. Yoga and meditation, the slow-food movement, eco-living — all are drawing women in. Even more popular is writing: especially memoir. From San Francisco to Atlanta, workshops are proliferating, and they’re packed with Jewish women. A lot of us seem to love writing about our lives as a means of thinking about, integrating and making sense (and art) of our experience. In shared rooms of our own we are thriving… and accomplishing a lot: writers’ groups not only give us intelligent, empathic readers and friends of similar kidney, but deadlines, too — a gift not to be underestimated by dreamy procrastinators.
Jewish women are pretty gifted at yakking and offering support, at sharing intimacies and food, at working hard and taking — and giving! — criticism. That we are diving into writers’ groups seems a natural.
What follows is an inside look at five writing groups. We thought you’d like a peek behind the scenes. Two “how-to’s” are intended to help readers who think they might like to start their own.