Random Human: How’s your 2017 going?
Jokes aside, 2017 is almost over and let me just say it has been a RIDE. While politically I have been eternally screaming since November of 2016, professionally my life has been leading me in SO many new and exciting directions. First things first, just like last summer, my manuscript RED SKY AT MORNING, a Victorian Mystery (now YA), did not make it into PitchWars. BUT….
What I’ve learned most this year is that writing is a collaborative effort, and it becomes that much better when you can find the people that just GET your writing, voice, and even when they don’t they help you succeed. Find your people and I promise the oft cold, slow, and rejection filled world of publishing becomes bright and wonderful.
WHAT FOLLOWS IS A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERY AWESOME WRITER IN MY LIFE
I would first like to thank my mother, Vivi Sojorhn, (@kosmicegg), who has supported my writing since day one. I am SO lucky to have a family that supports my creativity and helps me succeed. She read the very first drafts of RED SKY AT MORNING (I AM SO SORRY MOM!), and somehow helped me edit the garbage-fire into something I hope that people will love.
Secondly, I’d like to thank Dianne Freeman (@Difreeman001), my writing mom, who I met through #menteeshelpingmentees, a raffle no less. I was lucky enough to be matched with Di, who understands my writer voice better than I do! From that submission package edit, Di has helped me with my ENTIRE novel, and even let me beta read for her second novel (IT’S SO GOOD I KNOW YOU ALL WILL LOVE IT). Her debut, A LADY’S GUIDE TO ETIQUETTE AND MURDER, will be available for your enjoyment July of 2018 through Kensington Press! If you want to support Di and other authors debuting in 2018, check out @Authors2018. As Di said about a week ago:
“One thing you should know about this industry is writers help each other, that’s just the status quo. Everybody knows you’ll pay it forward.”
Thirdly, ROSIEE (@RosieeThor)! I think I’ve talked to Rosiee almost every day since sometime in early August. We work together at Prospect Agency as literary agent interns and I am so GRATEFUL she is there with me! We have WAY too much in common, and we find new things to talk about in ALL CAPS every day. She’s basically my therapist and has been there for every DRAMA I have had this year. She’s inspirational and overall AMAZING and believes as strongly in #Zutara as me.
She helped me overhaul my first chapter and add some much-needed freshness. I have so many awesome writer things to look at now, like her famous worksheets, and the podcast, Writing Excuses. I was also BLESSED enough to read her *fingers crossed* soon to be debut THROUGH GILDED VEINS. Read about her writer’s journey here.
Last, but certainly not least, ANDREA (@AEWalkerwrites) – ALL THE WAY FROM JAPAN! We met through #chance2connect this summer, and I am SO happy we did.
Through meeting Andrea, I have had the chance to read the amazing YA Fantasy PALACE OF REVENGE and help it become the WONDERFUL, and AMAZING book I know it is meant to be. I enjoy our late night talks about new ideas and developments so much! Andrea is bursting with ideas and I am constantly astounded by her creativity. Not only do I get to read a great book, but Andrea has helped me with mine as well! Since we are both still in the querying stage, we can share our fears and hopes with each other (which is 1000% better when it’s with someone who understands).
P.S. I’d also like to give a shout out to my roomie Samara (@The_Wilde_Chick) who is working on an amazing #Ownvoices fantasy based around Egyptian Mythology, which she hopes to be done with by the next PitchWars competition in August 2018. Keep an eye on her folks, she’ll be breaking your hearts once she debuts! Thanks for listening to my Creative Writing rants for the last few weeks <3
So what am I saying? What’s the point of this huge, gushy thank you? Many writers, famous ones at that, have said writing is solitary. Yes, to get words on the paper you often have to hole up at your favorite writing spot with your hot drink of choice. However, being a writer should NEVER be solitary, you need beta readers, critique partners, cheerleaders, and mentors to become a published author. You can do none of these steps alone. I wrote this to say there are so many ways to find your writing group, but you have to put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid! Sometimes it won’t work and you’ll find someone who doesn’t GET you. Stop, revelaute, and always try again. You will learn so much, and the publishing world won’t be quite so frightening!
What have your experieces been with beta readers and critique partners? Do you have any stories or advice?