Connecting with other writers is critical to your success.
Straight talk - My creative writing skills 🌻blossomed once I joined a critiquing group. In fact, I don't believe I would have ever reached publication without a critiquing group.
Why Join a Critiquing Group:
As I participated and prepared to give my colleagues feedback, I had to critically and professionally think through the specifics of what worked and what didn't in my critique partners' manuscripts. I had to intelligently articulate the specifics of why these elements did or didn't work, and I had to use craft-centered language.
Here's the surprise - It was easier for me to notice what felt delightful or what didn't land in someone else's work than in my own - even when I had the same successes or errors. But as I continued to critique with others, my editing and revising neural pathways grew. I had developed skills to see from new angles.
Now, when I look back at my work, you guessed it—I'm able to find heaping piles of opportunities, and I still work with my critiquing partners who artfully point out my blind spots.
Top four. I did four things that I believe were critical to my publishing success:
- Read. Read. Read books in my genre
- Joined a critiquing group (joined two!)
- Joined a professional organization within my genre. For me, that was the SCBWI, a professional writing organization that focuses on the craft of writing and the business of publishing children's books. For you, it might be the Science Fiction Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, or some other group.
- Engaged with a community of writers on social media (you can find me on Instagram @kimtomsic ).