The only good teachers for you are those friends who love you, who think you are interesting, or very important, or wonderfully funny; whose attitude is: “Tell me more.” —Brenda Ueland
Last week, I met with a writing friend for coffee, and she asked: “So, when can I read your book?” I’d promised it to her a month earlier and then got busy with other things. I was so thankful that she remembered and asked. Now, I’ll make finishing the draft a priority so I can get it to her sooner.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that writers who connect with other writers tend to write and publish more. Here are three ways to make that happen:
1. Find a Mastermind Group. For years, I’ve met with small networking groups for accountability. When I wanted to quit writing, these connections have helped me to leap forward. During these meetings, we ask the same questions:
+What are you writing?
+What do you need help with?
2. Join a Critique Group. Professional writers study great writing—and know what works and what doesn’t work. When we invite other writers to read and critique our writing, we expand our understanding of good writing. And, we learn about our blind spots. From complex comments on structure and voice to technical lessons on commas and run-on sentences, a good critique can strengthen our writing. [Pro Tip: Check the website of national writing groups to find a reliable critique group. I belong to a group through the Wisconsin chapter of The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators (SCBWI).]
3. Challenge a colleague. Create a deadline pact with another writer. Promise that by a certain date you’ll each write 10,000 words, complete a project, or complete a portion of a manuscript. To make it sweeter (and more difficult to fail), make a bet. If one of you doesn’t finish in time, you’ll have to . . . treat the other to dinner or whatever.
Your turn: How has connecting with other writers helped you to write more?