An inspirational and creative idea has planted itself in your fertile mind and doused you with a strong desire to tell your story as an uplifting guide to others. Perhaps you have a unique skill perfect for a self-help book that could aid millions, or your imagination is on overdrive and your hearts desire is to write a mystery, a thriller, a romance, or a mainstream fictional novel. Whatever aroused your drive to begin your writing career, many writers look for support groups to help them meet the challenge of making it to the end of their book or story.
Why do author’s need support groups?
All writers are faced with one or more common issues. Some are easily distracted from their writing and let everyday task derail their intent to write, or they feel they lack the skills to bring their work to fruition. Perhaps they are baffled by the process of getting an agent or a publisher. Does self publishing make sense and once published how do I market my work?
If some of these issues have entered your mind – relax! Help is available. Sure you can access information online, but for some of us there is just too much information to weed through and find the specific answers we desire. So let’s take a look at how to solve these problems.
The skill factor is probably the easiest one to overcome. Local colleges, and adult course for creative writing class’s are abundantly available and most are very reasonably priced. Or perhaps you need a refresher course in proper grammar, also available at local colleges, and adult education classes. I must caution you not to dwell on your lack of grammatical skill – a well told story is far more important. Some of the most influential authors of our time are severely lacking in grammatical prowess, but had the guidance of a great editor. In today’s competitive market investing in a professional edit for your manuscript, prior to sending it off to an agent or publisher is a must.
Time management classes are also available to help you find the time to write as well as manage your household, and a job. Yes, most writers have demanding jobs, children, and households to run. Some have found the time to write by getting up at 3AM or stay up late after the children are in bed. Although we still need to avoid the distractions that come along, making a schedule is half the battle. If you have the desire to tell your story, you will find the time. Some well-known authors actually take their laptops and lock themselves in a hotel or local motel room for the weekend to prevent everyday distractions from stealing valuable writing time.
Besides classes there are other valuable writers groups available. Check with your library or bookstores for writers critique groups. You may have to shop around till you find the group that suites your needs. Some authors believe their critique groups have launched them to success.
If critique groups aren’t your bag you can always join one or more writers groups, which have a steady stream of speakers such as authors, publishers, agents, book sheepherder’s, PR agents, creative writing teachers, and literary attorney to guide you from pen, to print, to publishing, and marketing.
A little more expensive, but one of the best ways to place your work in front of influential agents or publishers, writers conferences have classes on each of the skills we have discussed, usually in one jam-packed weekend of rapid fire writing, publishing and marketing information. You are also offered, for a nominal price, the opportunity to meet with and have your work reviewed by an author, agent, or publisher in your writing genre.
All writers and authors need a method, not just to stay on track, but also to keep up with the changing publishing environment. Darlene has discovered that being active in writers groups is one of the best ways to do so. She is a long time member of the Southern California Writers Association http://www.ocwriter.com/ and a member of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society http://glaws.com/. Both meet once a month an each offer different perspectives for writers. The Southern California Writers Association presents a continuous stream of superb speakers that answer and constantly reenforce the needs of their authors and writers. The Great Los Angeles Writers Society brings not just a great venue of speakers, but takes it a step further and offers opportunities for author/members to sell and market their books at locale venues and conferences such as the up coming Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. April 24th & 25th.
Darlene Quinn has utilized several of these support opportunities. Time management skills, are an issue for Darlene like everyone else, but one thing on her side is that she actually taught time management classes during her retail career. She also attended creative writing classes – both Frank Gaspar, of Long Beach City College and Maralys Will’s, of North Orange County Community College, gave her an excellent foundation to begin her writing career. Darlene was a long time member of a critique group that met once a month, and has attended several writers conferences to help hone her skills. She continues to be active member of the Southern California Writers Association and the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society.
As and award-winning novelist Darlene is often asked to speak at several of her past and present writers groups as well as writers conferences such as the Southern California Writers Conference http://www.writersconference.com/ .
With the vast array of writers support groups to choose from there is little excuse not to find the right one(s) for you. Becoming a member of one of more groups and attending writers conference you will find the answers you need to fulfill your writing dreams.
Darlene and I wish you success in your writing journey.