On Tuesday mornings, I meet with 1-3 other local writers for a write-in. This means we sit in a Panera, huddled around our laptops, and type away for a little while, then someone says something and we chat about it. The chatting fades away and we go back to writing. Repeat. We do this for about 2 hours, give or take. Being a person who is not particularly chatty, I find this to be the perfect way to socialize.
That’s really what it is, to me: structured socialization. I can write just fine without other people around to motivate or shame me into doing it. In fact, I get a lot more done when I’m not there than I do when I am there (most of the time – every once in a while, I have a bad day and being there helps me loosen up and let the words out). But, I’ve been able to talk about the things that have tripped me up or been a triumph in my self-publishing journey with other people who kinda know what I’m talking about.
To anyone aspiring to be a writer, I highly recommend doing something of the sort. No matter what your schedule is, you can probably find a few people to meet with in real life. Give and receive ideas, advice, enthusiasm, and motivation. Friends are great and can be a huge help, but only other writers understand.