Eighty thousand words! One of the members at the meeting said he’d written eighty thousand words in one month, while working a full-time job. I’ve been writing a science fiction novel for several months and I only have about thirty-five thousand words completed. One of the risks of joining a writing association is that you’ll feel intimidated by the achievements of other writers. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t allow that uneasiness prevent you from joining.
If you’re serious about becoming an accomplished writer, you must be willing to have your work critiqued. When you’re working on a piece, you’re too close to the material and you won’t notice problems, that other writers will. If you were building a house, wouldn’t you be thankful if someone pointed out a flaw in the foundation, rather than build it, and have it collapse? It’s better to have issues in your story pointed out by other writers, before you send it to an editor or literary agent.
One of the greatest benefits of attending meetings with other writers, is talking about your craft with people who understand what you’re experiencing. Your friends and family, and the guys and girls at work may be willing to listen to you talk about writing, but they won’t truly understand how frustrating or how rewarding the process can be. You’ll be inspired by writers just like you, who are driven to create. They’ll understand that you don’t just write because it’s a fun hobby, you have to write.
For many people, just the thought of speaking in public is terrifying. As a writer, however, public readings are an important aspect of developing your profile. A group of writers you’re familiar with is a safe, encouraging environment where you can learn to improve you’re public reading skills. A couple of months ago I read from the novel I’m working on, and I spoke so fast that hardly anyone understood me. That was an embarrassing, but important lesson that I had to learn.
If you find it difficult to travel to meetings, you can participate online. There are so many writing associations, that the challenge won’t be to find a group, it will be deciding which ones to join! Please note that I don’t believe that you must join a writing organization to become a great writer, but there are definite advantages.
Last weekend I wrote an article for a writing magazine, and this week I’ll continue working on my science fiction novel. What will you be working on this week? Let us hear your voice and feel your passion…Write!
Copyright © 2018 By J. Paul Cooper