“Creativity is a tribal experience.” Julia Cameron
You want to write. You do write. You spend hours writing . . . but you don’t seem to move forward. You don’t know if what you write is good. One moment you think you are brilliant, and in the next, untalented.
And then there this whole business side to writing. How do you wrap your arms around that? Or keep up with the latest?
Take a writing class. Preferably in person. Rub shoulders with other writers. Build synchronicity by being with people who are moving in the same direction you desire.
How do you find these classes or other writers? There are many classes online. I take online classes. After all, I am a working writer and I need to keep up with new concepts and techniques while being reminded of the basics. I do go off track as easily as the next person.
I also take in-person classes, and these are what I recommend for a newish writer because they will give you the opportunity to be with your “tribe.” Only another writer understands the challenges I face. We share more information with each other over a cup of coffee, a sandwich, or drinks than we do in a lecture. In person contact cements friendships, even if I have communicated with someone online for years.
Where do you find these classes? Reach out. Search the web. Touch base with organizations like Romance Writers of America where writers gather. Every major genre has an organization. Some have local chapters.
Touch base with your library system. I’ll put in a plug for Romance GenreCon where the first day and a half is a free writing course. Hopefully Mid-Continental Public Library (MCPL) in the Kansas City area will do it again in 2024. But MCPL also has a story center where they invite writers in to teach. You can find more about both at https://www.mymcpl.org/story-center It may be worth your time to travel to attend a class.
Also, there are writing instructors everywhere. Google to find one, do your research on what people think, and, if you like what you see, sign up. Some of their classes can be pricey but others are reasonable.
Most important, don’t be afraid to find your people. I didn’t know anyone when I attended my first writers’ conference. I wanted to write but I didn’t know how to start. Signing up had been a scary, big decision. It also cost money which was tight in my family at the time. It seemed selfish to spend $100 on myself when someone was always needing new sneakers.
This turned out to be the best $100 I have ever spent. I entered a packed room, saw an empty chair, plopped my stuff down, turned to the person next to me, and asked, “What do you write?” She, too, was a beginning writer.
That empty chair turned out to be a gift. She became a critique partner and a valued friend and sounding board for close to thirty years.
This can happen to you, too.
But only if you are willing to reach out.