“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb
A couple of posts back, I ranted about the importance of improving your writing for the sake of the story. In that post, I touched on a few different avenues in which to do so: webinars, classes, critique groups, workshops. But here’s the thing, writing can be an incredibly lonely occupation, which I feel lends itself toward losing confidence, losing excitement and eventually giving up on goals.
The examples I gave above [on ways to improve your writing] are awesome for short-term motivation and learning new ways to harness your craft, but there is one avenue I highly recommend taking on the crazy road to publication: The Writing Buddy.
In the last couple years, I have had the incredible opportunity to meet some wonderful writers and have been blessed enough to form a friendship with these beautiful people that helps keep me [and I hope them!] motivated.
I know I just used a LOT of adjectives, but I can’t tell you how truly lucky I feel having these talented people in my life. Just this past weekend, my friend and critique partner, Chelsea, came with me to an abandoned asylum to scope out the location of my WIP’s big fight scene.
Though we didn’t actually get to go into the asylum 😦 (government property and such), it was still a fun adventure and I got to spend an afternoon just talking about writing and our different projects. If it weren’t for these little snippets of awesomeness, I’m not sure where I would be as a writer.
There are a bunch of opportunities for you to find a writing buddy of your own. Below are just a few of the ways I’ve met mine:
Local Writers Critique Groups
I found Chelsea (and so many other wonderful people) through Meetup.com. Mind you, not all writers groups are on MeetUp, but many are. (You also have to weed through numerous other types of social groups, but it’s totally worth it!)
National Novel Writing Month
I met SO MANY writers during NaNoWriMo this past November and all of them were absolutely fantastic. I keep in touch with a surprising amount given my introverted-ness (pretty sure this isn’t a word), but hurray for social media! Anyhoo, through NaNo, I met the awesome J.L. Gribble, a debut novelist whose first book, Steel Victory, comes out this summer. Check out the cover reveal here and for more information on Gribble and Steel Victory, go here.
Online Critique Sites
This is where things can get a little tricky. There are a LOT of critique sites out there, so you have to do your research and find what’s best for you. BUT you can find some very, very, VERY talented writers to help improve your writing. I found the BEST CP EVER online [actually, she found me, and THANK GOD!].
Just a quick rant about my gorgeous CP Lynanne (you can check out her blog here), there have been moments in my revision process where I look at a chapter and I honestly have no clue of where to go. When I get her notes back, it’s like a light goes off and I yell, “EUREKA!” It helps that she’s also a very talented writer, whose book series is super creative and an absolute joy for me to read (both excerpts and concept notes).
Back on topic . . . Yes, it’s easier to hoard your work and not share it with anyone, and like the African proverb says, you will go fast. But if you want to go far with your work, get a Writing Buddy and Critique Partner.