Over the years I’ve gone through many phases. When I first started out, I was very precious about my work. First it was, nobody can see this…. it’s not good enough. Then it was, nobody can see this… it’s too good!
I didn’t want to be told what to do. I didn’t want people to criticize me, judge me, talk about my progress towards my goal or lack thereof. But I found that once I started talking and sharing my writing with others, there was just a fountain of knowledge out there that I had been missing out on.
Now there are heaps of people “involved” in my writing. Firstly, there are my critique partners. I have two regulars who I see often. They read my work chapter by chapter. Then I have two macro critique partners who tend to read big chunks of my novels in one go. They give me feedback on the overall plot and how it’s all hanging together.
Then I have my brainstorming people who I love to bounce around ideas with. It’s great to be able to test out a plot line before I write it. Then I’ve got what I call, “victims of my research.” These are people I call up, sometimes perfect strangers, asking information about their jobs or their life or their home town because I don’t know enough about it and it’s featured in my story. I’ve never met a person who didn’t have time to chat to me.
Finally, last but not least, I’ve got the wider writing community. I’m a member of Romance Writers of Australia and a number of different e-loops and groups. Then of course, there’s all the contacts you make on social media, facebook and twitter. If I need some advice about the publishing world, there’s bound to be someone out there who has been through the same thing.
Feedback, information, research, fresh eyes, new opinions – have all allowed my writing to flourish and become, in my opinion, more full bodied. Just as a tree can’t grow in a dark closet without the contribution of sun, rain, wind, and air, I have found my writing is the same.