Good morning bloggers and wannabe’s.
There’s an old saying, ‘No man is an island.’ I think that this is especially true for writers as well. As much as we’d like to be able to write whatever, whenever we’d like and not be accountable to anyone else for what we put on paper, in my opinion, this is not only highly narcissistic, but unprofitable to boot.
When I first began this adventure, I tried to read as much as I could about how to get an agent, find a publisher and the fastest tract on becoming the next Anne Rice or Terry Brooks. [What can I say, I have illusions of grandeur just like the rest of you.] But much to my growing disappointment, all roads led back to the same place: find a group of people who will read your work, give you their brutal yet helpful opinion and help you write, re-write and re-write again and again until your flowery prose either becomes a fine tuned, pared down version of the original or slips into the watery grave of ‘mercy deleting’ that it should have been sent to in the first place.
In other words, you can’t truly ever become a great writer if your the only one that ever sees your work. It takes a village to grow a writer. So, being the over achieving A type personality that I am, I set out to find myself a writing group that would be brutally, yet helpfully honest.
Your probably thinking the same thing I was; with all the current cultural emphasis on believing that its ok to blurt out whatever thoughts happen to pass through our minds – with no regard for the consequences – that my search would have been easy. Not so.
In the hunt for the perfect writing group with which to share my heart and soul, I realized that they, like a new pair of shoes, have to be worn for a while before you truly feel comfortable bringing them along on anything more than short trips around the block. If these individuals are truly to be trusted with bits and pieces of our souls, then just like those new shoes they must prove themselves a wise investment and not just another compulsive pairing to assausage the advise of agents and publishers. These are the men and women who are investing in our futures. They are the individuals standing silently beside you as you type ‘The End’ to your last re-write, send off that two hundreth literary query to the one hundredth agent and eventually find yourself being asked to write the The Acknowledgment’ page of your first published work,
Finding the perfect writer’s group is as hard as finding the perfect life partner. It takes time, it takes mutual investment and it takes alot of Kleenex.
From the lap top of an uncensored dreamer.