Social Distancing Lemonade: How Our Writing Group Did It
|My granddaughter's artwork|
We can look at this social distancing experience as lemons. I have had my lemon moments in the past week. Just read last week's post! But we're adapting. One of my writing life adaptations happened Monday night. Well, the culmination of it occurred Monday night. I spent Friday through Monday getting ready for it.
Our writing critique group. I run the local chapter for the South Carolina Writers' Association. We meet two times a month. In. Person. We look forward to this time of sharing and giving feedback on each other's work. Determined to not let that disappear, I began exploring options to hold our meetings online.
And found Zoom.
I participated in a Zoom meeting with 150 other people a few days before I began looking for an online option. This platform works amazingly well. You can:
- See everyone who chooses to be seen
- Mute or unmute participants
- Mute or unmute video options
- Share files on screen
- Use a chat box for information beyond the scope of what's happening in the meeting
- Access it will little issues or problems
Overall, it was a huge win for us. Most importantly, we were able to connect with our writing tribe. We had fourteen people in attendance, some who haven't been able to attend in some time due to caregiver responsibilities. With a bit of think-ahead strategy and planning, it came off without many hitches.
If you're interested in trying it out, here's a short video that instructs people how to access it from a tablet, smartphone, PC, or a Mac. A shout out to Chip Reaves at Bigger Brains* who saw the need for something quick and created this video.
How To Join a Zoom Meeting
I'm not going to say our first run was perfect. My computer froze at one point, but I'm working on a solution before our next meeting. The response from the group has been incredible. Some of our members admit to being Luddites, but it worked in the end. See what they had to say:
- Good meeting. Zoom seems to be the way to go.
- I thought overall it was a success. Looking forward to the next one.
- Overall, my thoughts are positive. This can work!
- Things went really well last night. Much better than I had imagined.
So how are you handling your group, in-person meetings? What's working for you? Please share them in the comments of this post so others can find something that works for them.
How are you making Social Distancing Lemonade?
*FYI, I'm one of Bigger Brains trainers, and we currently have
several training videos for free on YouTube, including
our popular Microsoft Teams Essentials training
and my complete library of Excel 2010 classes.