Friday, November 5, 2010

Singing the Praises of My Writer's Group

A few years ago, I finally reached the point most writers get to where I read one too many books that made me think "Hey! I can write better than this!" Naturally, writing a book--whether I'm actually better or not--is easier said than done. I've learned a lot of respect for anyone who can finish an entire novel. Seriously. Kudos all around.

Getting in the habit took me a few years and I still struggle at times (for instance, I should be writing my book right now...), but I'm getting better. What I really, really needed was a writer's group, who could encourage me, tell me what I was doing wrong, and sneer at me when I slacked. I tried creating a mini-writer's group with a friend, but he was a bigger slacker than I was! (Sorry, Mclaine. You know it's true.)

My area (unlike the one I grew up in, which has bestsellers thick on the ground all of a sudden) has almost no serious authors. That I know of. Not that I put out an ad, or looked, or asked around, or anything. I can guarantee that no serious authors knocked randomly on my door to invite me to be in their writer's group. Snobs.

Finally, likely realizing that there were lots of wanna-be's like me out there, David Wolverton/Farland decided to start up an online writer's forum, made up of lots of writer's groups. Jim Wolverton, his brother, took over the project, and I was fortunate enough to get in on the ground floor--by which I mean I volunteered to help with absolutely everything I could (including writing the Critique Guide...yeah, I know... stop laughing!) and got to know Jim well enough that when I begged, he let me be the leader of his group. The one he put together himself (since he was in charge of putting everyone in groups). He swears he didn't just cherry-pick the best ones for us, but, really--what are the odds that random selection could produce the awesomeness that is my writer's group?

Anyway, unless things have changed since I last heard the numbers, my group is the most active of them all. By a lot. We chat, we critique, and I, for one, marvel that I get to "hang out" with such talented writers.  I'm already a better, more consistent, and more motivated writer.

So thanks to David, Jim, and everyone in my group. Being a wanna-be just got a lot more fun.


  1. I must say, for a "wanna be" you are one talented chica. You sure you're not published?
    Ps - thanks for not sending your brute squad after me for disappearing last month, word on the street is they are pretty frightful...

  2. Aww, thanks! You're not so bad yourself, you know, which proves my point about our group! :)

    I did publish a poem once with They even put it in an audio version and offered to let me buy both for the low low price of $50 each! Ah, the lucrative life of a writer....

    What do you mean, I didn't send the brute squad? A second ago, you told me you scared them off! Now who's frightful?