By Kelly Bridgewater
Last week, I discussed my love of being by myself.
This week, I want to continue the discussion on writing groups.
Even though, I love to read and create by myself, I would love to have some feedback about my writing. I struggle with deep point of view and trying to get into my characters head and finding the balance between character's physical movements, dialogue, internal dialogue, and having other character's present in the story.
SO . . . I gave up writing a year ago.
I'm friends with tons of published authors on Facebook. They plan and attend weekends with other published writers where they spend time writing and helping each other out. Either brainstorming or critiquing each other's work to seeing a movie for the weekend.
I have unpublished friends that are part of a local writing group that meets once a week. I have friends that meet at a beach location and spend time writing together. I know My Book Therapy, or that is what it used to be called, has two writing retreats twice a year, but I can't afford them.
ACFW has a critique loop on their website. I used to belong to it. The problem with their critique groups is that it is the blind leading the blind. Every time I submitted something, it took a long time for someone to read it and get back to me. Then the unpublished writers, like me, said my writing was great, and only offered a few suggestions. Didn't really help me, so I dropped out.
I know published authors have a lot on their plate with book deadlines and coming up with new ideas to stay published. Book signings. Blog posts. Promotion of their own books. Facebook Live events. Launch team support.
I just wish I had the opportunity without costing tons of money to have someone look at my writing and help me get a better understand on the basis.
I have been to three ACFW conferences. The first one was the greatest, second was even better, but the third one I felt like I didn't belong. The classes say the same thing I have heard before. Nothing to improve my writing. At my second ACFW conference, I even paid for a critique of my first chapter from a certain published author, and she didn't honestly tell me anything useful to improve my chapter. It was a waste of money. ACFW seems to turn into a country club meeting of the elite published or active bloggers reunion. If you are not a published author or an active reviewers, which oddly I am, you stand in the back corner and watch everyone else interact. The authors know their published author friends and ignore the little person who wants to be part of their world. I wanted to return to my hotel room and just spending the rest of the weekend crying. I haven't been back to one since.
How do I get feedback from someone who has been in my shoes and wouldn't mind helping someone with the dreams of being a published writer? Just enough feedback to get my confidence and skills up to par, then I can move forward on my own.
What about you? Do you have dreams that appear to be unrealistic?