Posted in Writing

Why I love the Writing Community

 

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m worried about the Floridians as Hurricane Irma makes her way toward them.  I hope they all make it to safety, and for the friends and family who’ve decided to stay or can’t make it out, my prayers and thoughts are with you.

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It’s during these scary events that we see our true natures coming out. People forget about their prejudices and the barriers come down. Everyone helps everyone else no matter race, political affiliation, or religious bent. It would be so nice if we could do that all the time, wouldn’t it?

Sigh. That’s one of the things I love about the writing community. I’ve met so many awesome people who’re willing to lend a hand. I’ve participated in this contest where successful authors offer to be a mentor to writers who are on the path to publication. It’s an incredible event. If you’re an aspiring author I’d recommend getting involved. The contest is called Pitch Wars.

 

Photo credit: suzyhazelwood via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

To learn more about it. Stop on over to Brenda Drake’s blog. She’s the one who developed this growing event. There were more than three thousand entries this year. Here’s the link: http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitch-wars/

 

The thing about this contest is there are groups of authors that have formed and they’re supporting each other by offering critique partners, beta readers, and just general reinforcement to the potential mentees. Everyone wants each other to win. It’s amazing to see all the encouragement.

If you’re an aspiring author, I’d also recommend establishing a presence on Twitter. I’ve found there are many literary agents who hang out there, and it’s a great way to make a connection. Who knows, maybe you’ll get an agent that way. Stranger things have happened.

Photo via Visual Hunt

There are also chats on Twitter. All you need to do is follow the hashtags #askagent, #querytip, and #ontheporch and you’ll find professionals in the industry to ask questions and get advice from. I’ve met other aspiring authors, editors, and agents this way. Twitter is an awesome avenue for making connections.

 

There’s another hashtag that I’ve found extremely helpful and that’s #MSWL.

Agents use this hashtag to tweet their manuscript wishlist. We’ve never been so in touch with the gatekeepers of the publishing industry. In my opinion, this is the best time to be a writer. There are so many opportunities to make connections. So it’s important to hone your craft, you never know when opportunity will knock on your door.

How about you? Do you have any tips you’d like to share with the writing community? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

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Posted in Writing

When Imposter Syndrome rears its Ugly Head

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. It’s been a heck of a week with Hurricane Harvey dropping a ton of water down on Texas and wreaking havoc on almost the entire state. I’m glad that most people are safe including my friends and family, and I’m sending prayers to people who’ve been hurt or lost their lives in the hurricane.

 

 

Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Visual hunt / CC BY

On a much less dramatic scale, I also started back to work this week after a summer of running my kids all over and writing. So I am tired, but I did manage to keep up with my writing goals. 🙂

Anyway, today I thought I’d talk about something that many writers deal with and that is  Imposter syndrome. We don’t feel like authentic writers until we get that major book deal, or award, or win that contest. I’ve been there and so have many of my fellow writer pals.

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It’s a horrible feeling to not feel authentic, so I thought I’d write a post on the things you can do when that feeling strikes, and from what I’ve heard from the big authors that feeling can hit them, too. None of us are immune.

 

  • First and foremost, keep writing. The feeling will soon dissipate as you immerse yourself in your writing once again. Writing for me has always been an escape and a way to deal with anxiety. Use it now to fight the Imposter syndrome that is attempting to take over your brain.

 

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  • Take a break and read. Reading is a great stress reliever for me and I believe Imposter syndrome is really just a bad case of nerves. So take a break and read one of your favorite authors, then get back into it. You’ll be glad you did.

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  • Chat with other authors. The writing community is full of kind-hearted people who’re willing to lend a hand to help another author succeed. Trust me on this, I’ve run into many of them.

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  • Get on Twitter and connect with other people in the community. There are so many opportunities and ways to connect with authors, editors, and even agents. I’ve met some incredible people who’ve helped me grow as an author and you can, too.

 

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  • It’s important to develop a group of friends who can cheer you on when you’re wallowing in the fires of Imposter syndrome. I’ve done this and when the going gets tough, they’re always there to give me what I need. Whether it’s a quick critique, or help with a difficult scene, or just a quick pat on the back. They are there.

 

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These are five ways I’ve dealt with Imposter syndrome. I’m sure there are many more. Are there ways you deal with it? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!