What if we had one hour? A single hour to focus and start our day with some structure and accountability. An hour to start that novel, to get through those emails, to finish that blog, to get cracking on that thesis or essay. Whatever we need to get down on paper or the screen but just an hour to sit down, with no interruptions or excuses, and get it done. This is the promise of the Writers’ Hour by London Writers’ Salon (LWS). An hour-long Zoom call where you can subscribe for free and join hundreds of others from all over the world and just write in peace and quiet. Sound inspired? Strange? Interesting? We thought so too so we signed up, poured a brew and hopped online.
The call started as most Zoom calls start with a brief introduction by the host welcoming returning writers and newbies. Co-creator Parul Bavish was also on the call asking everyone to share what they were going to write about in the chat. It all took a couple of minutes and as we all raised our mugs of hot drinks, silently wished each other a successful hour of writing, I quickly glanced down at the participant counter… 325. What a great way to start the day. Then it went quiet, heads down, everyone started writing. Before I knew it, 55 minutes had passed and it was all over. I’d written 900 words.
London Writers’ Salon and Writers’ Hour are the mindful creations of Parul Bavish and Matt Trinetti, who both come from editorial, writing and publishing backgrounds. Intended for and curated with writers in mind, they wanted to build a creative space for writers. A safe, non-competitive community where writers could write more and connect with other writers. Both LWS and Writers’ Hour are free, online communities and are completely community-funded and supported via Patreon, as well as through a variety of online events and masterclasses.
But it’s the celebrated Writers’ Hour that’s helping everyone structure their day. What started as a simple, face-to-face idea, migrated online in 2020 because of Covid-19, and in just a few short months, it has organically and exponentially grown into a global event and morning staple. Writers’ Hour Zoom calls have to date hosted as many as 919 writers in one day and a total of 5,000 writers have signed on so far in the four different time slots across four time zones.
“We just thought ‘what can we do to serve this community of writers?’” Matt Trinetti tells us. “Let’s give them a space where people can come and write together. The ethos of serving and then learning, that’s kind of been the mantra of what we’re doing. What we’re trying to do is continue to serve writers and what’s wonderful is that every day, we get to be in a room with the writers that we’re trying to serve.”
That room has hosted BAFTA-nominated actors and published authors all sitting together on the call next to dozens or hundreds of other faces quietly writing away, with their heads occasionally bopping up and down across the screen. That’s the beauty of LWS and the Writers’ Hour. No writing skills required. You don’t even have to call or consider yourself a writer. Everyone is welcome. No judgment, no opinions or harsh criticism; only silent support and personal accountability… Who doesn’t want or need that once in a while?
“Haven’t encountered anything on Zoom as amazing as the Writers’ Salon. A whole bunch of people turning up and up supporting one another even in silence… An absolute joy” tweeted @SarahSharp22.
The desire to connect in an increasingly disconnected world is strong and Writers’ Hour provides a unique kind of connection. A connection that is low-key, one that says: I’m here but I’ll let you do your thing. Isn’t that what we all need more of these days? To be in a ‘room’ with 10, 20 or 100 strangers but nobody is expecting anything from you. Nobody is talking and you’re allowed to just work in peace but never alone. In 2021, in the age of Covid, in a time when we’re all trying to adapt to a different level of distraction, a unique work-life balance and an irregular work schedule, here’s something we never knew we needed that just lets us get on with it. See you tomorrow at 8am.
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