I first heard about NaNoWriMo in 2009, and at that time, I didn’t know what to think about it. It seemed like a crazy thing to do. As I talked to more writers about their feelings on NaNo I realized how many loved it…and how many hated it. I couldn’t say that I felt either, but I was suspicious. Did it work? Was it worth it? And maybe most importantly, were the results any good?
Writers put a lot of pressure on themselves when it comes to producing. We’re told that successful writers produce at least a couple of novels a year, and in between our big projects, we should always be producing short stories, flash fiction, or blog posts to submit and publish.
A Critique Partner is someone who approaches a manuscript from the point of view of a writer.
Eight years ago I joined a writing program in San Francisco even though I was scared to death to do it. I hadn’t written in the eight years before that and I was terrified to start writing again. I had made small attempts over the years—the beginning of a story here, or a journal entry there—but my writing was so clumsy and forced that I couldn’t read what I’d written without cringing.
I was torn between two extremes. On one hand, I was convinced I was a horrible writer and I had no idea how to go about becoming a great writer, or even a good one. On the other hand, I had never stopped devouring books or dreaming about the book I would one day finish. It got to the point where I actually felt sick inside every time I thought about writing.
If you are a writer looking to publish, chances are that you’ve done your fair share of research online about what the publishing world is looking for. And you know that this world encompasses not only publishers, but agents, fiction journals and magazines, and readers. It’s very easy to believe that if you can figure out “what publishers are looking for” then you can be that thing, and make your writing career a success.