A few months ago I went to a workshop. There I bumped into a woman who is regularly published as a Womag writer (woman’s magazine fiction). We got chatting and now I’m in the same e-critique group as she is.
My output has gone up hugely.
I’d been looking for some like-minded folk for feedback for years. I had other writers to look at my work but they don’t read the sort of magazines I target, so while it was well-intentioned feedback, it wasn’t necessarily that helpful. Also, their output isn’t actually very high. I had no one really pushing me to work. Except me. And I can be a bit, well, laid back.
The writers in my new group, however, are inspirational. There’s nothing like feeling the slowcoach to make you pull your socks up and work harder and faster.
My spreadsheet of submissions for this year consequently looks like this:
- Jan – 1
- Feb – 3
- May – 2
- July – 1
- August – 2
- October – 6
- November – 8
November includes my first story written and submitted in under 24 hours. When was the workshop? September.
I go to a local writers’ group, too. It’s well run by a lady who has an MA in writing, but most of the attendees are not interested in getting published. It doesn’t matter. I get inspiration here, and this week inspired a story I submitted to Woman’s Weekly. I also get to help new writers, which is a good feeling. One of them, who only started writing in May, has just had a piece published in a local history anthology which I had spotted and flagged up to the group. She is chuffed and it’s given me a rosy glow, too.
So, my best advice to all writers is to find a writing group to support you with your work. Any group can be effective, but one specific for your needs is best. This can take some time to find, so be patient and be prepared to cast your net wide.