When I first started writing in hopes of being published, I struggled with a ton of things. And it was a different age: no Internet to search for answers. Those struggles motivate me to pay it forward to other writers.
And let’s face it, even with the wizardry of online search engines, it can be a struggle to find the help we need. How do we know if a course will really deliver? How can we be sure this is a good investment of our time and hard-earned money?
So, if you’re struggling with any of the following things, I have a FREE answer for you today. I want to help you avoid the pitfalls of these struggles I had when I first started writing seriously.
Finding a Writing Group
This can be a huge headache. The local writers in my area were mostly hobbyists. I connected with two women who seemed to want to get published and attended a different writer’s conference with each of them. But we lost touch as life got busy.
My first breakthrough came from Scribophile, but not because I joined it blind. It took getting to know some authors I admired by following their Facebook and Twitter posts and reviewing their books. They admitted me their Scribophile group where I finally found writers who pursued getting published with diligence.
How I can help you take a shortcut: My Facebook group of writers and recommendations for other groups on FB of like-minded authors who are serious about being published
Knowing if a Manuscript is “Good Enough”
I’ve read there are two types of writers: ones who think their writing is amazing and those who think their writing is horrible. What I’ve learned is that this generalization is false (as most are). Many writers can fall into one of these broad categories.
Many writers who have taken a class or gotten positive feedback on their writing from friends and family fall into the “My Writing is Amazing” group. Sadly, they are likely mistaken. They’ve yet to get honest feedback from professionals in the publishing industry.
Other writers who might even have publishing credits think their writing is horrible. That’s why they can’t get a contract or a bunch of reviews or something. But, they are likely underestimating the good parts of their writing. On any given day, I can fall into this group and the very first book I published has a five-star rating average on Amazon.
Some people have skills to perfect a story they’ve written. Others don’t know how to properly place a comma. Both types will still need input and feedback to make their manuscript “good enough” to show to editors, agents and publishers. Or, for those planning to self-publish, get it ready for the editor they should hire before slapping it up on Amazon.
How I can help you: The Facebook group mentioned above hosts FREE weekly trainings on everything from writing craft to book marketing. I welcome topical suggestions to make sure the classes meet the needs of the group members. Also, I offer reasonably-priced chapter critiques.
Getting a Critique that Helps
This was another area that stalled me early on. I wanted to improve my writing, but I couldn’t seem to get anyone with “skills” to look at my stuff and give me honest feedback.
Oh, I tried. I paid for a critique at a writing conference that was mostly about style and didn’t help me very much. I paid for a critique from an online class. That one gave me insights on some of my structural issues but ended up causing me to trash a story that I believed in for one that I didn’t.
Feedback is essential to improving your writing. But timing is everything. You have to be far enough along the writing path to have mastered the basic skills. And you need to find someone who can give you an honest, professional evaluation in a way that doesn’t set you back.
How I can help you: I give away first page critiques and offer a first chapter critique for less than I paid for any critiques I’ve purchased. I’m positive that I can identify the weaknesses and strengths in a single chapter that will help you level up your writing and make your whole manuscript better.
If you could identify with any (or maybe all) of these struggles, join me at Write Your Book Nook. It’s a coaching group I’ve founded on Facebook. Each week, I present a Live lesson. Six days per week, I post helpful information or conversation starters. It’s a safe place to bring your questions about writing and maybe have them answered.
Each month, I run a giveaway for a FREE first page critique. So if number three is your biggest struggle, you’ll be interested to hear that the winner of the first critique in the group had this to say:
Sharon gives thoughtful, relevant advice with applicable suggestions to make your work shine. Her edits and comments switched a lightbulb on and I’m more excited about this project than ever.Gigi Blume
I hope to see you in the Nook. Find it here. Don’t struggle at writing alone. Let me help you find a way to break through and level up your writing.