And now for a PSA

Today, in things you didn’t know about me: I have a regular writer’s group for my actual writing. If you’re serious about being a writer, you need one too.

This is as vital as practicing every day – you need other writers around you that are at the same level as you. And it has to be other writers, not readers, because they understand the process of narrative and they see the invisible scaffolding around plot and scene that a reader will only be aware of unconsciously.

So here is my advice, dear friends, if any of you want tto write:

-get a copy of Stephen King’s book called On Writing
-make sure other people in the group have read it
-make sure the group is structured and limited to five or six people at most
-make sure the group meets every two weeks or more often if possible
-if you’re not getting good feedback every time you go, then leave and start your own group.

I guess we all wish we could write bestsellers without needing any editing, but in reality writing is no different than any other high level skill. Even the masters started with basic drafts. The difference between an amateur and a master is that the master knows when their work isn’t ready – and they know how to make it ready.


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