I serve in a support capacity in my day job, so I’m used to people asking me for help all of the time. But I’m not so good at asking for help, myself. What can I say? I’m an introvert. But when it comes to honing my craft as a writer, I need all the help I can get!
Part of this adventure has been learning about where I can go to find the best writing advice and inspiration. The trouble with self-guided web searches is, with so many writers, bloggers, businesses, etc claiming to have all of the right answers, answers that vary from one source to the next, how’s a gal to know where to begin and who to trust?
This is where I’m learning that challenging my reluctance to go out and make connections, to meet and talk to fellow writers and professionals face-to-face and get my network on, is the best possible thing I can do for my writing career.
For one, folks in the know can identify the questions I haven’t been asking and make sure that I start asking them. I’ve mentioned them before, but Danielle Smith and Jen Rof é, the literary agents who lead SCBWI’s Picture Book Intensive at the LA Writer’s Days event, fed me so much great info that I’ve started exploring several new projects and opportunities as a result. I might have eventually arrived at similar avenues based on solo research, but these ladies saved me time and got me there faster.
In the form of critique groups, they can provide specific (rather than abstract) feedback for works in progress. And if you’re lucky enough to have folks in your critique group who are as awesome as mine, they might even tell you about all the cool upcoming blog contests, like RhyPiBoMo and the A to Z challenge! I certainly didn’t find them on my own.
Now if I could just get a little help carving out time for all of that creative writing I should be doing, I’ll be in business! Alas, I think that responsibility rests squarely on my shoulders.