I’m over at Writer Zen Garden finishing up the second to last #atoz challenge post. If you haven’t read these come over and browse. And if you are looking for a writing group to join. Check out the tabs above. We’d love to share your writing journey.
Here is the First Friday Lunch for February
On my writing journey, I know I would not be where I am today without the tribe of writers around me.
Having a supportive partner and family is important too, and I’m fortunate to have that as well.
But when I write myself into a corner, cuz I’m a pantser and we do that, DH is of no help. But I can call my friend Arden Richards, whose not yet published but is the best plotter I know.
I belong to a number of tribes –
The F-M Word Weavers – This is my local critique group. Arden is a member as well. Also in my group are published Authors Maddy Barone and Mary Jean Adams. The wealth of knowledge in this group is wonderful, and my writing has greatly improved over the years thanks to these ladies. I found this group on Meet-up and It helps that most of the group is made up of Romance Authors.
Romance Writers of America – I highly recommend this group if you are looking to establish a career in the Romance Writing Industry. I’ve been a member since 2004 and belong to an online chapter. I met my first critique partner Holli Winters through RWA. If you want to learn more about this particular tribe I recommend, if you have Netflix, that you watch “Love Between the Covers”. First time DH watched it with me he said, “Sounds like your writer friends.” Yes, yes it does.
Of course there is also Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers Association and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers or America. As I do not write in these genres, I’m unfamiliar with their membership.
Romance Divas – I’ve recently joined Divas, but I have friends who have been members for years and rave about the mentorship and learning there. It seems too that Divas is on the leading edge of trends within the Romance Industry. Also they are FREE, so that is helpful for those watching their budget.
Marketing for Romance Writers – Despite the name, more than Romance Writers belong to this community. If you follow my AuThursday interviews, many of the writers are from this group. This group is also FREE.
Writer Zen Garden – I’ve been with Writer Zen Garden for about five years, brought in by my friend and founding member, A. Catherine Noon. Writer Zen Garden has authors of different genres. They are wonderful for writers just starting out and maybe not so Romance focused. To me the focus is very creative and wonderful cheerleading group. And Guess what – also FREE.
I continue to join groups as I see what they have to offer and if it is a good fit for me. I highly recommend that if you aren’t a member of a tribe that you join one. There is something about the writing journey that shouldn’t be done in a bubble. I mean you can, but there are so many options to connect with people and learn, why wouldn’t you.
The groups above have helped me through Writer’s Block, Rejection, Plotting, Marketing, Networking, and supporting me through my writing journey. I can’t imagine writing without my tribes.
My apologies for missing last Writer Wednesday. I’d returned from an annual Writing Retreat for the Founders of Writer Zen Garden, and found myself forgetting.
I’ve attended this Retreat annually and the theme or tone of the meeting varies from year to year, depending on where we are at in our lives.
This year before meeting, one member suggested more writing time, and I’m so glad she did.
We routinely do Morning Pages, Free Write and a CRAFT.
This year we added in Writing Prompts, Mind Mapping and Creative Journaling.
The Mind Mapping and a prompt on setting were exactly what I needed. I tend to write dialouge heavy, so this was very helpful to help me find a balance.
If you are planning on hosting a retreat, Even a self-retreat, there are a few things I would recommend:
- Have goals – This is reason for the Retreat. Finish a book, commune with like minded writers, relax. Whatever it is, even if each writer has different goals, this will help with making a plan, so everyone walks away with what they want.
- Have a plan – Get input from all people attending your retreat. Pick a location. Create a schedule. Share it. A plan will give you framework for your retreat to ensure everyone has fun.
- Have Fun – So you can’t hit the park, because your location has suddenly been deluged by rain. You spent more time chatting and less time writing – been there. If you think of the plan as a framework and not a schedule, you can better roll with it.
Last year I hosted the WZG Writing Retreat on my Farm. I’ve toyed with the idea of coordinating a spring retreat for local authors at my farm or at The Smokey Hills in Minnesota.
The goal for me has always been to catch up with authors about what they are writing and trying to re-energize my own writing. This is for both retreats and conferences. Before investing time and money into any event, be sure you have a goal. My goal helps set the expectations and I can measure sucess from it.
My goals were met, so I would call the retreat a success.
Here are some other great blogs on planning retreats:
Join me next week as we continue my query journey.~Tina
Last week, right after I posted my rejection post. I received a request for an additional 50 pages from another Agent. The Universe must have a plan.
I had met this agent at an RWA conference a couple of years ago when the manuscript was just getting started in my head and on paper. She had given a talk on agents and how they help you in the business. That talk made me look at querying agents for this book that was an idea in my head. Especially since what I had written was such a bit of a departure from my current work.
I will still have to wait a few more weeks before I hear back, but this is exciting news. I remember listening to her talk, and getting a good vibe.
As you read this, I’m heading to the airport to go on my annual retreat with the WZG Founders. And plotting my next book. More on that next Wednesday.