"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Pat on the Back...

So I decided to swing the opposite way today. Getting away from jealousy and envy, this post we’re heading toward that person we rely on the most when writing.

Most writers say the same thing: you need at least one person to tell you you’re doing a good job and I’d have to agree. I think every writer needs one – published or not – someone to tell you that what you’re doing is good work (or crap), that they love it or it sucks; someone to bounce your thoughts and ideas off of. They are invaluable.

Now, I can’t speak for published authors, who have editors and agents to go to – somehow I don’t think it’s much different for them in the long run. But we who are unpublished go through the writing process mainly by ourselves. And it is a looooooong process to deal with it alone. Am I right?

For one thing - me being me, I have this wonderfully torturous voice in the back of my head telling me that this sucks. I need to change all of it! No one is going to want to read this…etc. Not all the time, no, but definitely when I’m weakest. And that is when I need my Bestie the most.

That’s right my Best Friend is my go-to person. She is the one who is not afraid to tell me that this is stupid, or fabulous. She’s not afraid of using her mythical Cattle Prod of Doom to get my butt moving once again. And she is the one who reminds me that I love writing and that should be the only thing that matters right now.

Who do you have as your go to person? Who keeps you going?


CopperTopCollins said...

My go-to person is actually two people - my critique group. We call ourselves the "Serendipity Critique Group" because it was pure chance that we found each other. But after almost a year of working together we are convinced it was fate, not chance.

There are times when I dread the thought of sitting down to write, but knowing that I have to bring pages to the next group meeting gets me in the chair and cranking out the work. Even if they are rough drafts, half-scenes that end in the middle of the action, it doesn't matter. Part of the beauty of our little threesome is that we are all good at brainstorming and can "what if" our way through scenarios and generate several different options for the characters.

Our trio is packing up for the Writers Digest Conference in New York City later this month and we've already planned to work in tandem to network with as many fellow writers and prospective agents as we possibly can. We are working together toward publication, supporting each other every step of the way.

Thanks for the great question.
Ginger B.

C.M. Villani said...

That is nice that you have found other writers with whom you have a great rapport and can trust their opinions fully. It is a hard feet to do, I find. You might be right about the kismet.

And going above the writing and bringing that bond into the marketing and networking realm is fantastic. I'm sure it’s a huge relief to have that sort of relationship backing you up.

Kim said...

I have several people from current as well as past writing groups. One woman in particular helps me to see strengths in my stories that I didn't recognize on my own. I also have people outside of the writing world. It's great to get feedback from their strictly "readerly" perspectives.

C.M. Villani said...

You know typically when I think about a writer's group, Kim, I think about them pointing out the flaws in a manuscript, but having someone point out the strengths is are far better thing!

I find we writerly-types generally have one major mortal defect, we are prone to self-doubt.

So I give full props for having surrounded yourself with such lovely people. Smart move!

northsidefour said...

A wonderful question! Two of my best friends like everything I write...so I had to go elsewhere. I joined a writing group and have found wonderful support there, despite a a cranky man who dislikes everything I write. I really appreciate those who take the time and offer thoughful advice and critique, that input is invaluable.

Nicole said...

You know I didn't quite know what to comment when I read this a month ago. It has sat in my inbox with a priority flag and its the first thing I read every time I open my email. EVERY TIME!

It makes me happy.

And today I finally figured out how to respond.

I feel the same way about you. Simple as that. What would I do without you C?

C.M. Villani said...

Probably get a whole lot more done in the real world, Nicole. Hee hee hee :D

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