Updated: May 4
Writing is mostly solitary experience. You sit down at the computer, your notebook, or a typewriter and hope the words pour forth. Sometimes they do, and it feels like you've conquered the world. But if you're like most people, the words don't flow like you imagined, and the blank page taunts you. It takes weeks, months or years to produce what you hoped would happen in days. And then, finally, you write the last word of the last sentence and collapse with relief. Off you go to do something (anything) else, and leave the writing in a folder on your computer so you can clear your head and read it again with fresh eyes. Some writers leave it for a day, others for months. You finally return to it and eagerly begin reading.
And then it happens. What you were certain was a masterpiece reads like someone else's disaster. "Did I write this?" Somehow, you have managed to spend far too long creating something terrible . Or is it? Now you aren't sure whether you should be allowed to write anything else, ever.
Here are three to get essential feedback during your writing journey.
Allow a trusted writer friend to read a portion of your work, with the understanding that you are looking for an honest reaction. Don't ask this reader to give you tips on how to fix what they may see as weaknesses in the writing. That's your job. Their role is to assess whether the portion they read would keep them reading further.
Find a writing group that fits your genre, writing personality, and time requirements. Not all writing groups are the same, and you may need to research, consult writer friends, or a try a few before you find the right one for you. If you can't find one that meets your needs, start one! Online groups are great also. They allow flexibility and the opportunity to meet people from outside your community.
There are many podcasts that offer encouragement and advice. Even though the relationship is a little one-sided, the benefits can be wonderful. We recommend The Creative Penn Podcast, The Indy Author Podcast, The Write Now Podcast, The Writer Files, and Writing Excuses
Book coaches and consultants offer a wide range of services. Although this option isn't free, it's sometimes the best way to get "unstuck" and find motivation, encouragement and guidance. If you are interested in learning more about our consulting and coaching services for non-fiction, self-help or memoir, email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact us through our website.