I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Write From the Soul 2

Writing, by its nature, is a solitary endeavor. Yes, we share our words with others, either for critiquing purposes or to tell them a story, but the bottom line is we tend to write in isolation. I don't know about you but for me, too much of that isolation leaves me uncertain sometimes, about the quality of my work. That's why being in several writing groups is important to me. First, I have my local writers' group. We are all very different people and yet those differences are exactly what make us work well together. We all start from a unique mind set and our perspective shapes our view of each others' stories. So differences = wonderful creative insight. My other writers' group has even more diversity. We live in all over the world. This, obviously, is an online group. The group ranges from picture books authors to young adult/teen authors, from college students to those with families/kids and to retirees. I'm finding that our cultural differences shape our perspectives on writing as well. Mostly, I find that all the members in both groups become a fabulous support network; encouraging more and better writing, celebrating achievements large and small, and being an extended family of sorts, to help face life's challenges. (And my life tends to be full of challenges so I'll take all the support I can get!)

In keeping with the theme of "support networks" I'd like to give a few thank you shout outs. Thank you to the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators http://www.scbwi.org/ or "Skib-wee" as I call it. It's the friendliest, most giving organization and group of colleagues one could ever have. The web site offers a wealth of information and  is a must-know-about for children book authors. Thanks also go to the regional chapter of SCBWI called "Southern Breeze" spearheaded by Donna Bowman and Jo Kittinger. Sometimes local chapters of an organization pale in comparison. Not Southern Breeze! Each state is divided into sections with local people to contact about events, meetings etc. Emails are always answered promptly and the information is accurate. It's like having a human search engine at your fingertips! So thank you also to the local contact people who help keep us informed. If you live in GA, MS, AL check out their site http://www.southern-breeze.org/
The last part of the support network has to be the many fantastic blogs that are available for all to read. I can't even begin to tell you all the tips and "how-tos" I've picked up from bloggers. My favorite to date is Shelli Johannes-Wells and "Market My Words" at http://www.faeriality.blogspot.com/. Shelli is full of personality and shares great marketing ideas. (For those of us who find marketing has a B-I-G learning curve, Shelli's advice is unparalleled.) Can you tell I'm a fan! Whatever your interest, there's at least one blog out there you can read. Go find it and enjoy.

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