Friday, July 17, 2015
Joining a Writing Group is the inspiration for everything I have done in my writing career.
I wanted to take a moment to speak out about something very near and dear to me. A little heartfelt, warm fuzzy on the blessings of my writing peers. The people I have grown to respect on many levels.
I have learned a great deal of information that is invaluable to the goals I had set out to achieve.
Many folks may not know the value of having peers who are in the writing field, whether they are Authors, Agents, Publishers, Media Professionals, Web Designer's and of course most importantly those that are on a similar journey of learning to master the craft of writing.
Coming together to read and critique each other's work and to be supportive and helpful to those who may be just starting out. I don't know how I would have gotten where I am today had it not been for the incredible kindness and selfless help from those in my writing group.
We have become more than just buddies who meet once a week, we have a bond to that of family. I consider them my second family. I am the touchy, hugger of the group who has to show everyone how much I appreciate being in the presence of such amazing people. They all bring something different to the group and the discussions.
We all write very differently, even if it's the same Genre' nothing is ever duplicated except maybe an occasional cliche'. There are many people with different opinions and perspectives on what might be helpful in making that very story the best it could be. Something as simple as rearranging words and grammar can make a big difference in the critique, for the Author to convey a message that is vital to the storyline.
In our group we have fairly specific rules about the way we critique. First of all, no blood on the floor, meaning, be kind and critique the work not the person. You never want someone to feel attacked and discourage them from writing. That being said, you also know that becoming a writer also means having thick skin, you have to be able to accept critique and not let your feelings or emotions get in the way of learning. When being critiqued you should not have to explain your writing, listening is most important. Hear what the advice is and if you feel it does not apply, simply move on to the next comment. You should never have to argue a point in defense of your writing. Let the writing speak for itself. Take what you need and leave the rest behind. Simple enough? Yes, it is.
My older children call the group my happy place. That it is. My escape from the crazy daily grind of being a single mother of five and grandmother of two. For two full hours I get to connect with the imaginations and minds of genius'. I love the diversity of humans with a common goal in mind. We are all there to learn and to write the best novel we can.
I cannot say enough about how important a writer's group is. So if you're wondering if it is for you, please reach out and connect with one in your area. Check out Writer's Conferences and volunteer your time. Get involved in the local writing community, visit your local bookstores and join a local meet up to find people in your area who can help you find your happy place.
Write, Write, and Write some more.