So, what was the difference between last year and this?
- I joined an online critique group full of some pretty amazing people with lots of insight. They've taught me a lot.
- I've attended writing conferences and critique bootcamps (LTUE, Storymaker, UVU Book Academy).
- I've joined associations for writers (iWriteNetwork, ANWA, Authors Incognito, LUW)
- Through blogging and conference attendance, I've met and become friends with lots of other writers, many of whom I've met in real life.
- After attending my second critique bootcamp, some of us formed a local in-person critique group. We range in age from a 15-year-old boy (he's amazing, btw) to grandmothers older even than I am.
- I learned how to use sprint writing and the pomodoro technique to help me focus and really crank out the words. I love using their timer and will continue to do so when writing and editing.
- I forced myself to keep writing even when I wasn't sure where to take the story, knowing it was going to change some in the editing process anyway.
I hear often that writing is a solitary business. It can be, as it was for my first year. But methinks times they are achangin'. I know that not all writers/authors are made of sweetness and light, and I realize many find themselves on different sides of the debate about where the future of publishing will end.
Overall, however, I've found this community to be full of helpful, giving people who are happy to share from their experience. Rather than feeling threatened by potential rivals they are out there cheering us on and more than willing to give us a helping hand.
I think that's why NaNo was such a different experience for me this year. Next year? Real life will determine that but I'm hopeful. I had a tight schedule what with putting on a municipal election that I won't have to worry about next year (I'll be able to attend the writing retreat--squeee!).
What about you? Have you found the writing community to be as friendly as I have? Did you attempt NaNo this year? If so, how are you doing?
And a humorous note, I stole this from Stina Lindenblatt over at Seeing Creative. It made me laugh.