Most of us know of someone in our circles that is writing or wanting to write. Joining writing groups can be expensive and a little crowded. If you are just wanting to hang out and talk about writing, why not gather up those friends and get away with your laptops. It’s a great idea! Author Julie Musil did just that. Follow her posts to see how things turned out.
It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’m currently on a mini writing retreat with two of my closest writing buddies. How is it going? I’ll report back later! But I did want to chat abut a couple of things. Writing retreats can be expensive and inconvenient–especially if you’re on a tight budget and have little kids at home. I’m not one to dump a lot of money into the writing process. It’s just not my style. But when my friends approached me with the mini retreat idea, I jumped on board. Why?
Lower cost. We’re not paying for expensive workshops or roundtable critiques. We’re simply getting away with our laptops to write. Most of the stuff covered in workshops or retreats can be found online for free. READ MORE HERE.
Writing isn’t as easy as some people may think. We writers worry and second guess each word we put on a page. We worry that we aren’t good enough, that our work isn’t interesting and we wonder how our favorite writers would tell the same story. If you are wonder how you can learn to trust your writing simply read the article by Australian author Lynda R. Young over at Rachna’s Scriptorium. Lynda has some simple tips to help you begin to trust your writing.
How to Trust Yourself as a Writer
Learn the Rules: Whatever it is in life you want to do, you’ll first need to learn how to do it. The same goes for writing. Sure, anyone can string a few sentences together and call it writing, but not everyone can do it well. Learning the craft will give you the confidence to be the writer you want to be.
Find Support: Find a supportive writing group, a family member who believes in you, a friend who will cheer you on. Keep going back to these people to find the encouragement you will need. They will keep you positive in the face of rejections. They’ll hold you up and tell you the words you need to hear, such as: Yes you made the right decision to pursue writing. Yes you can do this.
Don’t stay in isolation: Writers tend to have a distorted view of their work. We fluctuate from thinking our work is pure genius, to thinking our work is dog’s body. Critique partners, beta readers, editors, and mentors will help to give us a clearer picture of our work. And they will help to improve our work, which in turn will give us confidence. The more we share our work, the easier it becomes. Read more here.
Are you having fun writing or does it seem to be a chore?
I love writing. I giggle every time I come up with a new idea and jot it down in my journal. I love talking about writing even when it annoys those around me who get to hear it all the time. Again, I giggle. I love reading about writing and learning about writing. I can’t get enough. Some of the information sticks and some rolls off when I get information overload.
There are times when I feel overwhelmed with all of the information and the list of things I need to do. But, I just take a little break and venture out into the world, picking up more new information and eavesdropping on conversations, just in case I can use it in one of my projects (*giggle*). I do get tired sometimes, but like anything else we need to just take little breaks to get rejuvenated.
If you are starting out down the road to writing and you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. You can find a writing buddy, take a class or join a writers group. If that doesn’t help ease your pain then perhaps writing isn’t for you. I have been writing and creating for a long time. It’s in my blood and literally in my genes. In my opinion, if you don’t eat sleep and drink writing you probably won’t write.
I’ve come across a lot of writers who are so busy writing that perfect novel that when they’re done the world has become a blur. When you ask them if they have started to build their online presence the look you get back is one of dismay. Sitting in a room typing away has become a safe haven for a lot of writers. The problem with only focusing on your own writing is that you don’t know what else is happening around you. In this new age of technology and self publishing writers need to be aware. Writers need to network. Writers need to become a part of a community.
The first step any writer who isn’t online should take is finding a critique group. I’ve discussed this in a post Critique Groups. Briefly, writers need to have another pair of eyes on their manuscript. It’s tough to share your work with strangers but it’s a first step in acquiring thick skin. It’s better to take a chance on a critique group than to get over a hundred rejection letters because your manuscript wasn’t ready or polished.
Consider creating a blog, website or join an online writing group. Connecting with other writers is a quick and easy way to get in touch with what’s been happening while you’ve been tucked away writing. Other writers can help you find publishers, agents, and share what they know about writing. It’s also a great way to make some new writing buddies and discuss your current writing project.
If your family and friends aren’t in the loop about what you’ve been up to, now is the time to fill them in. Share your writing experience with them. Share your manuscript with them. Prepare yourself for whatever feedback there might be positive or negative. Whatever opinion they provide it will most likely be given with honesty and love. Who knows, they may love it and really start supporting your efforts to getting it published.
Now is the time to take the first step to becoming a writing community. Get outside of yourself and your project. If you are shy, networking online is easy because you don’t have to look at or speak to anyone directly. You know how to type so get to it. Get online and make some new friends.