Once a month I have the privilege of co-leading a writing workshop of adults who want to learn about fiction. We write, we think, we talk, we read. It's light-hearted, but full of great questions, higher thought, serious study. Our people are from all walks of life: teachers, technical writers, nurses, construction workers, military folks.
Some want to escape "real life" for a few hours. Others want advice on finding an agent or publisher. Some want to dive into exercises (Write about yourself in the 3rd person...Go!). Overall, though, I think we want the shared inquiry into a difficult craft, the keys to universal human expression, a common experience as artists. It makes me think of 20 people who can't swim jumping into a boat, saying simultaneously, "Let's shove off."
It's scary, but oddly comforting.