While writing a story is usually a solo act unless you have a co-writer, I have found that actually being productive on a daily basis is difficult. Writers need people to hold them accountable. Writers also need fellow writers to assist with story issues. I’m working harder on getting back into a writing routine and developing a schedule.
At the moment, I am trying to write without the creative support I desperately need. This is not an excuse for my slowed productivity. It is just a fact. I used to have a small writing group. These people had read my stories and understood my voice and the genre. We met weekly at either a local coffee shop or in someone’s home. It was wonderful! We could discuss our progress and brainstrom if someone had a problem, was outlining a new project, or wanted to develop a new character. Many corporations have what they call a think tank. I didn’t realize how much I needed my own think tank until it was gone.
The writing group disbanded as one member got a full-time job, another switched jobs, and the third is busy with work and hobbies. I have tried searching out another writer’s group in town, but I have given up. Nothing fit even close. I am a full-time writer and going over 4 pages a month wasn’t going to get me anywhere.
I went to a writing conference and took the blind dating for authors class. It was a lot of fun! The goal was to find a beta reader/critique partner. Unfortunately, that didn’t work either. I’ve applied through several groups online with lists for critique partners, and yet I still find myself on my own.
It is disheartening to feel the weight of the stories pressing down on my shoulders. Sometimes my brain hits a brick wall. In a previous story I knew I needed to introduce the hero’s daughter earlier but I had no idea how to do that naturally without an info dump. When I brought this up to a friend she suggested I have a neighbor buy the girl candy at the general store. Oh my goodness! That was so simple and it worked perfectly.
It is depressing knowing it takes me longer to finish a story when I’m relying on my own brain power and trouble-shooting. I try to reason with my lap top screen and brainstorm with my cat. It seldom helps. Some days I feel so alone. I’m sure other authors are struggling for the same reason. While many cities have writing groups and even writing chapters they are not always a good fit. From experience I’ve found (that for me at least) trying to fit in with a group makes me more miserable than not joining.
So I continue on my intrepid writing journey alone …. for now.
If you have a beta reader/critique partner value them!