Here’s a terrific interview from author Edith Maxwell, member of the Newburyport Writers Group, from her blog series-Ask the Expert.
Setting goals during our Sunday PICR meeting has become a ritual, as has the results–not many of us actually meet them. I fear we, okay I, don’t take them very seriously or in the least not seriously enough. I don’t think we are being unrealistic in our expectations but rather we don’t value our writing as much as we should.
This week George suggested we give him a shout out to make sure he’s on target to reach his writing goals. I like that, it’s proactive. So here you go–get it done George! Times a-wasting.
This conversation got me thinking to November when we ask our loved ones to give us some extra consideration and slack while we try to pound out 50 thousand words in 30 days. And while that is a time-consuming endeavor whose pace we can’t keep up with every month, why do we not afford ourselves the time and focus to write on a more daily basis the other eleven months of the year?
I think we can ask more of ourselves and of our support system, and we should do so in order to protect the very precious writer in us that needs nurturing because no one else is going to do it for us.
What specifically keeps you from writing? I, for one, get distracted by the world-wide web and all its glorious information which I justify reading as “research”. Yeah, I’m sure that video of the baby seal playing with the surfers is going to come up in my opus on marriage. That, and I’m a television junkie. Obviously, I need to unplug, but as many of you know I have Dysgraphia and can’t write with out my laptop. I guess one option is to shut off my wifi connection and not allow myself to wander the byways of Procrasti-nation.
There’s my goal. Shut off the wifi every time I sit down to write.
As for other ways you can be and ask for support, see if you can utilize any of these.
Maybe you harbor anxiety about your writing? I know I hold back and don’t finish projects to avoid dealing with the next step. This one is more about creativity and nurturing yourself. Eric Maisel is a creativity coach, one of many hats he wears.
One of the many reasons our WriNoShores have continued to get together is the sense of community it gives us. Writing can be a rather lonely endeavor, even when we have the support of friends and family. No one else quite gets the struggle, the joy, and the sorrow of pursuing writing, whether as a hobby or profession.
The thing about these communities is that no one single group fulfills all of your social, emotional or intellectual needs. This necessitates membership is varying types of collectives, be they specific to genre, region, gender, or temperament. They can be serious or lighthearted, concentrated on the craft of writing or the business of publishing. You may outgrow some or redevelop ones you’ve joined years ago, maybe discover new groups that challenge you.
Finding the ones you need that will fulfill where you are in the process can be overwhelming. Here is the beginning of what will be an ongoing resource of communities.
North Shore Writers Group is based in Salem, Massachusetts, but we welcome all writers living on the North Shore — and beyond, if you don’t mind driving! NSWG nurtures writers at all levels by providing supportive feedback and information to help our members grow as writers. Our members are published, multi-published, and not-yet-published, and work in fiction and non-fiction.
The New England Outdoor Writers Association is a group of New England-based professional outdoor communicators dedicated to promoting and supporting conservation, natural resources and our outdoor heritage. Membership benefits include a quarterly newsletter, membership directory, conferences and events, writing and photo competitions and craft improvement opportunities.
The mission of the Cape Cod Writers Center is to assist published and aspiring writers of all genres, abilities and ages to develop their writing skills and learn the business of editing, publishing and publicizing; to publicize authors and their works; to provide opportunities for writers to congregate for inspiration, education, and networking; and to introduce readers to authors and their work.
All writers need insightful readers, inspiration, support, and honest feedback. That’s what GrubStreet provides, in a supportive and thriving community. We offer over six hundred classes and events a year for writers of all genres and ambitions—from first-time poets or fledgling memoirists to MFA graduates and published novelists.
The New Hampshire Writers’ Project (NHWP) supports the development of individual writers and encourages an audience for literature in our state. We are a nonprofit literary arts organization funded by its members as well as organizations and businesses who believe in supporting our region’s writers and literary heritage.
A collaborative open to writers, writing group facilitators, readers, editors, booksellers, publishers and other organizations serving writers, Straw Dog Writers Guild is a vibrant network of resources for the writing community (in the four counties of Western Massachusetts – Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire).
AWA is an international community of writing workshop leaders committed to the belief that a writer is someone who writes and that every writer has a unique voice. AWA trains writers to become workshop leaders so that they affirm that commitment in every AWA workshop, with novice writers who have been led to believe they have no voice and with experienced writers who want to hone their craft.
The Writers’ Room of Boston is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the creation of new literature by providing a secure, affordable work space and an engaged community to emerging and established writers in downtown Boston. The Room provides 10 private carrels, each of which is furnished with a desk, chair, lamp, power strip, and bookcase.
Members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators who live in New England can use this blog to find open critique groups.