August 24, 2011

Sometimes It Takes an Army...

When I first decided I wanted to write a novel, there was one thing holding me back.

I was afraid to share my idea. I mean, what if someone thought it was stupid? There would go my self-esteem right out the window, right? I imagined myself telling someone my idea and getting a stare that said something akin to "You're going to waste your time writing about THAT?!"

I can take critiques on my writing itself--I've been having my work critiqued for years. (In a future post, I'll talk about the best ways to handle critics, I mean, critiques...) But what if the underlying idea for the novel was bad? Then there would be no hope!! Or so I thought.

Of course, I was being melodramatic when visualizing this scenario (a characteristic that has, alas, been attributed to me in other scenarios as well!). I pitched my idea to not just one other person, but four people. You see, I'm a part of a writing group--we call ourselves the neo-Inklings after C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien's club, though who knows if we will ever reach the level they achieved (here's hoping!)--and the people in the group took my idea and ran with it.

Not only did they not laugh at me, but gave me some wonderful ideas for expansion along the way. You should have seen me--sitting there, voraciously writing as idea after idea flowed. There was a great synergy that flowed in that room, and I could tell the members of my group were getting as excited about what my novel was becoming as I was.

Interestingly enough, our group is extremely diverse. We are all writing different pieces, from a sci-fi screenplay to a nonfiction memoir-type work about horses and their impact on the author's life. It has been one of the most encouraging things in my journey so far; every time we have a meeting of the minds, I want to go home and write some more!

If you are aspiring to be a published author, I highly suggest you join a writing group. It can be quite frightening at first, but it is awesome practice for pitching your ideas to agents when the time comes for that. The group can help you flesh out the good ideas and flush the bad ones down the toilet.

Because, sometimes, it takes an army.

1 comment:

  1. Yay!! Writing groups are so important for inspiration. :)