In 2019, I was able to visit elementary schools and speak about my children’s books. I got to attend school assemblies as well as individual classrooms. My favorite venue was an afterschool writing club. I showed up as a guest speaker and ended up finishing out the remaining weeks of the club as a writing mentor.
I walked the students through techniques I had learned about storytelling and proved advice for them to improve on their stories. It was such a fun experience.
It was also at the beginning of 2019 when I joined my first writer’s critique group. This was my first attempt to “play well with others”. I had never been around other who were serious about the craft of storytelling. As I mentioned in previous blogs, I was highly intimidated by their knowledge at first and almost left the group for this reason.
Challenge for You: Find a local critique group to join.
In the long run, I’m glad I didn’t. I was able to meet some really great people and grow so much in my skills. The people in this group taught me way too many things for me to name. Whether you are just starting out in your writing or have been writing for most of your life there will always be something you can contribute to others.
At first, a lot of my critiques for the other authors said things like, “If I was watching this on a movie, I’d expect this to happen.” I suck at grammar and punctuation so I didn’t feel sufficient about commenting on either of these things. However, I was confidant on my visual perspective. I was able to comment about where they might add something to show something off. An explosion at a gas station? I’ve watched enough movie to know there should be some kind of vibration felt in the car driving away from it.
Never let your lack of knowledge in one area detour you from assisting in areas you are knowledgeable. Sometimes, simply telling another author, “I don’t understand what you’re trying to say here.” can help them look at their story differently and allow them to open it to more readers.
Tip of the Day: Don’t be an island. Find someone to help you AND someone you can help.
#NaNoWriMo #writerscommunity #authorlife #storytelling #critique #writersguild #support
Nicole Donoho, owner of Teddyfly LLC, enjoys writing stories for all ages. She currently lives in Northwest Arkansas where she takes in the beauty of the Natural State with her husband, Jacob, and their three sons-Elijah, Josiah, and Solomon.