This is my post for November’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. To read other contributors click here.
In 2011, I participated in a Grubb Street fiction workshop taught by author Lynne Griffin via a grant through our local library. At the time, I’d written a first attempt at a novel, a mess I’d consigned to a folder on my flash drive. During the six week workshop, I learned much about POV, voice, and setting, but the lesson that resonated for me focused on conflict. Through Lynne's classes, I realized my first novel was a disaster because I had been afraid to raise the stakes. A confessed coward, I refrained from forcing hardship on the characters I created, and whom I’d come to love. As a result? Ho hum...
During the spring before the class, I’d started a second novel, and though I had to take several breaks at critical junctures before I could bear to force my protagonists into overwhelming and sometimes tragic circumstances, the lessons I absorbed from Lynne allowed me to do so. Now, on my tenth revision, I still have a long way to go, but when I think about the impact that class had on me, I know I’d never have my second, improved story without it.
Aside from the bla, bla, bla backstory above, I gained one more thing from Lynne’s class. From 2006-2009, she and three of her partners took turns writing for their blog, called the Writer’s Group. There, they shared experiences in regard to all things writing, and though they no longer contribute to it, the blog remains public. Their engaging essays impart truths and reassurances related to the technical and emotional considerations associated with writing and publishing. When I need practical help or feel most insecure about my journey, I peruse the subjects they covered back then and it always helps to keep me going.
Check out the Writer’s Group. Maybe it will help you too.
What resources do you turn to when the writing journey overwhelms you?