Thursday, November 2, 2017

Finding Your Peeps by Ann Haywood Leal

When I was teaching and I needed to brainstorm about a lesson or a student, or just plain vent, all I had to do was to go next door or across the hall and I automatically had an eager and sympathetic ear.
This can be difficult as a writer, especially if you are juggling your writing time.  We do what we have to do, sometimes piecemealing it from dashes of the early morning and late night.  And we are almost always doing this completely solo.

But if I dash across the hall to brainstorm or do some writerly venting at my house, I'm most likely to just find Boo Radley and Charlie Bucket.  While I adore my cats, they aren't the best at providing feedback.  And frankly, they can be a bit judgmental with those fixed eyes . . .  

If you are lucky enough to have a critique group who meet on a regular basis, make sure you do just that.  Make it a priority.  Show up-- not just for the others in your group, but for yourself. 
But what if you just can't wrangle it, and your location or your day job or most commonly, your family situation doesn't allow much time to breathe, much less travel somewhere to write?

I am a HUGE fan of Skype and/or FaceTime.  Your writing partners can be on a completely different continent, and if you can figure out the time difference, you don't have to move an inch.  

I am so very thankful for my writing peeps--all of the wonderful women and men who make my profession less solitary.  They can be the difference between a bout of the dreaded writer's block and having an inspired morning of writing.

I love to picture J.K. Rowling, writing in a coffee shop with one hand, while rocking her baby with the other.  She made it work--boy, did she make it work.  

And you can, too!

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