If you're a writer, and serious about your writing, it is important to find a critique group…
For all practical purposes, I have finished the "big" novel I've been writing to you all about. Thirty-eight chapters ast it turns out, thoroughly reviewed, critiqued, and edited by my stellar book concierge, and studied by my writers group, "The Write Minds." I enjoyed writing the book, enjoyed the several revisions, enjoyed the outcome of the story that has redemption in it for a very troubled protagonist. Now the hard part sets in, the "corrosive self doubt" that I wrote about earlier that all writers feel. It isn't any good. It might be good but no one will want it. Is it the best I can do? Did I waste my time? What will my 6th grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary School in Clinton, Iowa think of it?
Something even harder begins now, and that - finding an agent. I published my first two novels, and the third to come, without an agent. So, why do I need an agent for this book? Because there is a whole business side of publishing that I know nothing about and that my current publisher does not pursue. How to push the book. How to get rave reviews. How to boost sales. How to expand author's rights into foreign sales, getting into big bookstores, even movies. How to, I tremble to mention this, how to make some money at my craft.
I have writer friends who have written wonderful novels and can't get published. I have writer friends who got published but have made less than $500 in royalties over two or three years. I have writer friends who despair and give up, but I'm not doing that. I wrote a good book. I hope to find an excellent agent who will boost my career.
I will keep you posted, dear readers.
Last Saturday morning a local writers group, The Write Minds, met at the Carenen Cottage, as they do on the first Saturday of each month, and the third Wednesday evening. There were ten of us there with a broad spectrum of ages, two of the three sexes, and a variety of genres. Represented that morning were published and unpublished novelists, published and unpublished poets, a man writing a book on personal finance, and a lady who writes haiku. What a group! But I'm writing this just to say that it was a terrific morning, aided somewhat by not only the congenial atmosphere, but Dunkin Doughnuts, coffee (with Bailey's Irish Creme available to improve the beverage), and a variety of teas. So we all sat around and took turns sharing what we wrote, receiving constructive feedback taking into account excellent work and work that isn't excellent just yet. In short, we helped each other
We enjoyed ourselves from 9:30 until shortly after 12 Noon, and the time just whisper-jetted away. It was beautiful outside and inside. And I loved it. We were enjoying ourselves and looking forward already to the next gathering.
A fine morning, indeed. That's all I wanted to share, dear reader - that is, a good thing that made every one of us happy. A simple thing. A gift.