Happy Wednesday! We're back for another check in with a great supportive network of writers. Make sure to check out a few blogs posting today. The full list here.
When You Become the Writer Giving Advice
I haven't been doing this fiction writing thing for very long. Not so many years ago I attended a free, public library writers group with a friend and was completely intimidated to share my work with a table of twenty plus writers.
I didn't know how to critique.
I didn't know plot structure.
I didn't know character sheets.
I didn't know writers calculated word count vs. pages.
I didn't know market trends.
What I knew, was that I loved reading, I was okay at writing things like opinion articles, and blog posts, and diatribes on message forums. I started college as a journalism major. But I knew jack about fiction writing, and once I got a taste, I dove right in. Call me a sponge, because I soaked up everything.
It's truly essential to have this pointed out. The book helped me see: OH, this whole book biz is complicated. When I showed up to the signing event for this book, which included a panel of publishing professionals, I 'd never seen my local indie that full. Everywhere, people practically exploding from the aisles, tightly wedged and muscling their way toward the front with hopes of pitching to the panel. (Because unknown to me, this was also a pitch event).
Yeah, a lot of people want to publish books.
So, I spent a few years learning the craft of writing. I did what the Essential Guide advised me to do: I signed up for Publisher's Weekly's free newsletter. I found links to blogs about writing, publishing, and author sites who support new writers. I followed authors on twitter. I found SCBWI and RWA. I attended local writing workshops and conferences. Every six months, I progressed, even surprising myself with what I could accomplish.
Fast forward to now, and it still feels strange to have writers come to me for advice. I'm no longer my agent's newest client. I started a critique group who look to me to organize our meetings (and an actual event!). I am mentoring a writer in Pitch Wars.
Every little bit I've learned I will pass on to those who want it. I have many more milestones ahead, and have so much more to learn from writers further along. But what I have now, I can share. And I'm loving that journey.
What milestones have you achieved in your own writing or reading life?