Guest blog post for Savvy Authors
The Importance of Writer's Groups
Do you belong to a writer's group, either local, regional, or national? If not, you should.
It's been said that writing is a lonely profession. We've all seen the pictures of famous authors hard at work at their desk, papers and books strewn everywhere, a swirl of smoke over their heads and a glass of liquid confidence close at hand. Seldom is there another human being in the room (except of course the one person taking the picture). Racked with uncertainty and self-loathing, they slave away for years, all alone, in pursuit of their art. I don't know about you, but I prefer not to live my life that way.
Don't get me wrong, I love writing and solitude helps the process, but I can also write in a busy coffee shop. Writer's groups can be that coffee shop with the added benefits of support and encouragement, whether online or in person. Fortunately, there are several groups in my area ranging anywhere from romance, to literary, mystery, to children's literature. I'm a member of two and their support has been invaluable to my writing and publishing journey.
From my blog
I've been babysitting my son and daughter-n-law's cat the last two weeks. I'm not a pet person. I don't mind doing this for them, but it's not something I would want to do every day of my life.
Pets are cute and adorable and a lot of people couldn't imagine life without them. I'm not one of those people. I think it's because I'm an only child. I enjoy my solitude. I guess I'm a bit selfish, also. I don't want to have to think about getting home to make sure the cat or dog are fed and watered and still alive.
Here are a few things I've learned about cats.
- They don't give a crap about anything.
- They will lay down anywhere they want, even the shower.
- They have a look about them (like the one pictured) that indicates they want to kill you.
- They don't take the word 'no' easily.
- You had better have a snack, food, water, and clean litter ready whenever they want it.
- Pretty sure they get annoyed when you meow back at them.
- My lap is no longer mine. It is a soft, squishy pillow for him.
- Don't leave anything out you don't want them to get into, because they will.
- They will not come when you call them - and finally.
- If you don't pet them exactly where and exactly when they want, they will not leave you alone.
Guest blog post for Sleuths' Ink
I've spent time beta reading a writer friend's new book. For those who don't know, beta reading is one of the first steps you should take after writing a novel. You give it to people you trust, to read and tell you what they think. I usually go a bit further and do some editing suggestions. Just because I like that part of it.
If you're ever asked to beta read here are a few rules:
- Make sure the book is ready to read. The writer should have done all the editing they could on their own before they ask for your help. You definitely don't want to read a first draft.
- Be kind, but honest. Most writers really want to know what needs improvement. If they don't, then they shouldn't be asking for your input.
- Try to point out things like POV mistakes, inconsistent characters, plot holes, or anything that just doesn't make sense to you as a reader.
- Don't make any changes yourself. Use Word comments to make your suggestions. You are not the author.