Have you been searching for a place to be yourself, tell your stories, and know you belong? There’s room for you in To Live & Write … Wherever You Are.

In 2014, I created a new writing community in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Now we include members from all over, including wherever you are.

I thought I was just putting together a small group of local writers I could meet up with in person and keep up with on Facebook. I was happy to begin with three people — two introverts and me. Skip ahead six years and as I write this in my little group’s birthday month, we hover at just under 650 members. We are indeed a growing, thriving community. We touch base in the Facebook group To Live and Write … Wherever You Are and meet in person or online frequently to write together, share our work, and/or discuss the writing life with people who speak our language.

For the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, we meet exclusively online on Zoom.

Join the Facebook group to connect with other writers at a weekday Write Along, a Tuesday Discussion Group, and Proof of Write three times a week.

To accommodate lurkers as well as writers who participate openly, every month I invite members to participate in a challenge designed to establish and reinforce regular writing habits, push productivity, and spark playful creativity. The rotation includes Daily Pages, Flash Lit, Word Count, and Imagine months.

Every month also presents an opportunity to share your polished work with an audience. Local Voices is our open mic, Alameda Shorts is our curated lit night, and Lend Me Your Voice is a fun event where we read each others’ work to find out how different readers experience our writing voices.

Membership is free and there’s room for you.

If you believe you have to lead a life worth living to have anything worth writing about, and that you need to write to have a life worth living, you’re one of us.

If you believe honing your craft is a lifetime endeavor and the very thought of all that work sends tingles up and down your spine, we see you.

Whether you have impostor syndrome or you’re proud of your work, or you’re some of both, none of either, and everywhere in between, you’ll fit right in.

In this community, we focus on a shared love of story and embrace our growing diversity.

Our intention is to build and sustain a community of writers who identify and acknowledge each others’ challenges and achievements when shared, lend an ear or words of wisdom when needed, and show up for each other when asked.

What sets us apart? We provide each other with old-fashioned moral support in a modern, high-tech world. We keep in touch here, in Facebook, and celebrate each other across social media. We also make sure we have plenty of opportunities to get together in real life to strengthen our connections, build lasting and important friendships, and draft off each others’ creative energy.

Look for The Week Ahead posted every Sunday for a list of events and activities, including discussion groups, write-ins, and opportunities to share your work in Alameda. If you’re not local, we offer online stuff as well.

Rules of engagement in the To Live & Write … Wherever You Are community:

  1. We are a writers support group. Let that dictate your behavior. Give it, take it, ask for it; that’s what we’re here for. Mean girls and boys, go play elsewhere.
  2. Stick to posts about writing, the writing process, and the writing life (what you cooked for dinner between blog posts does not count).
  3. When you want to share your writing with us, please share the link only and make sure you give us context. We don’t care what condition your blog is in; we want to read your words. Do not post your content straight into the group — your poems, short stories, blogs, essays, will be deleted. When you or another member post a link to written work, it is not an invitation to critique publicly or argue over content. Do that somewhere else. We focus on effort in To Live & Write … Wherever You Are.
  4. The irritating “dump and run” tactic of dumping a link without context is not appreciated and will be deleted.
  5. Discussions about sex, race, religion, politics and/or other hot-button issues are not appropriate here. Discussions about how you use writing to process or speak on these topics is welcome and encouraged.

If you violate or bump up against any of these rules, you’ll probably get a PM from me about it. When you read that PM, imagine a friendly voice drawing your attention to the problem with the intention of resolving it peacefully and with the group’s best interests in mind.

Membership is free and there’s room for you.

Happy writing and I hope to see you there!

One thing is certain, I would not be where I am with my writing if I’d not joined To Live & Write.
As a PS., tonight in Proof of Write, all three participants said my words convey my unique voice! I’m gonna test that theory at Lend Me Your Voice … The point here is that I credit this group with giving me the structure and accountability to find said voice. So thank you again … When the student is ready, the teacher appears. And you have been a godsend.

Libra Kaplan