Grab a Group

lonelyWriting is such a solitary occupation, that I’ve often felt at a loss as to my literary abilities. I can look at a piece of writing and think it’s award material, or I can look at the same piece of writing and think it’s garbage. I’ve noticed that most of my insecurities attack me right after I’ve finished reading a riveting book.

I know. I know. One of the Golden Rules–Don’t compare.

That’s why input during the creative process from other writers is so important. Without help from someone… Continue reading

Resources – What Supports My Writing

Most of us have some form of resources that we use for our novels and other writings.  I am no different but mine have changed over the years as I’ve grown as a writer.  Below are some of the things I use.

Classes

My first resource started years ago when I came back to writing more consistently.  I knew I had a lot to learn and so I went on a writer’s retreat that was more a class in writing than a place to simply write.  That was a turning point for me because I met a writing… Continue reading

Join or Start a Critique Group

Every critique group I have been in has taught me something, not only about my writing, but about myself.  Some critique groups I’ve been in have worked well, some worked okay, and some didn’t work at all.

My current critique group has been active for nearly a year, and it all started with my response to a request for a critique partner on one of the groups I belong to. It’s one of the most productive and interesting critique groups I’ve belonged to – thanks to my critique partners Lane and Carolyn

A Writer’s Journey

Looking back over this past year, I see so much progress in my writing. The first signpost is my attitude. When someone asks me what I do, I tell them that I’m a teacher and a writer. Previously, I thought of myself as a woman who enjoyed writing stories.

Believing in myself is huge, and it happened gradually as I immersed myself in the writing world. I credit my new self-confidence to the people in my writing groups. Like me, they aspire to fulfill the promise of an entertaining read for everyone who buys their book.

Each of us… Continue reading

Get Yourself a Posse!

Part of my Group

Part of my Group

Friday nights at Barnes & Noble, you can find me at a table with a cup of coffee and three or four members of my writing group. We try to meet once a week. For me that weekly confab is extremely important–I get a new dose of enthusiasm for my writing and an honest appraisal of my latest work from dedicated authors.

However, I didn’t have the help of other knowledgeable and caring people when I finally decided to write in… Continue reading

Help! I Can’t Write.

No good!

No good!

As far back as grade school, I loved to write. I tried poems, short stories, and eventually, technical writing. I always yearned to write a novel but knew I wasn’t good enough. I’d started a few and the stories simply petered out. What to do?

Through a lot of trial and error, I found that one of my best resources was other writers. I can hear you all now, “Duh!” Of course other writers are the resource. But how do you access and… Continue reading

Queen for a Day

When I was little, there was a program on TV called “Queen for a Day.”  It was a reality soap of the highest order — a competition between four women to see who could tell the biggest sob story.

The contestants and host.

The contestants and host.

The winner was seated on a “throne,” crowned, and robed in ermine.

The winner!

The winner!

She received prizes, including whatever she’d specified was her biggest need —… Continue reading

Another Year’s Growth

2014 calendarOrdinarily, the onset of a new year brings on a sense of melancholy. I feel as though I’m losing something that I can never get back. You know, like the song lyrics, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot?” This year I decided to look back on 2013 with a more positive eye and focus on all that I’ve accomplished as a writer.

I was surprised at what I discovered. The most important result of my evaluation turned out to be growth, growth in confidence and growth in skill. In the… Continue reading

Aides, Helpers, and Support

This is a bit of a question with no easy answer.  Who do I speak with?  I have no one person with whom I hash everything out.

I email my cousin if I have ideas or a short story.  I do not expect expert critique from my cousin – usually she will ask a question if she does not understand everything or she will say that she likes it … in a worst case scenario she will just forget that she received that particular short story!  Sometimes I will send her two beginnings of stories (NaNoWriMo that never reached… Continue reading

Say what?

I had the hardest time the first time I joined a critique group back in 2004. I am not originally from the U.S. and I used words I was familiar with – like lounge (living room), queue (line), phone (call) – and my critique group didn’t like any of them. They said it took them out of the story. As soon as I explained the words they were okay with them. But this is the kind of thing that pulls a reader out of a story. As as a writer, you don’t want the reader to be pulled out of… Continue reading