Hello everyone! Those who have followed me from the beginning know I struggle with being social; that starting the whole marketing and connecting to readers and writers was something I would have rather opt out. Now as I have forced myself out of my shell by first joining to Goodreads’ Humor Club and then spreading there on like a virus, I have found more courage to engage with others. So much, in fact, I have joined in a Fantasy Writers’ group. Yay!
The group fell into my lap. A week before I found the invitation to join the group I had read about yet another one of my favorite authors attending writing groups and I knew I had to find one fitting for me. And then in one normal day, I went to have a browse at Reddit’s Fantasy forum and found this elaborate invitation for writers, and I couldn’t pass it. I have to say I feel proud of myself for answering to the invitation. Two months ago, crit month ago, I wouldn’t have been ready. I would have passed it and come up with a million little excuses why I can’t join in. But I did. And now I regret it… Nah I’m having a blast.
Over 40 people had answered to the invitation. Our supreme leader divided us into groups based on our workload and time slots. (This happens online through Discord. Hah, you caught me. Not being as social as I made myself out to be.) And with some bizarre luck, there were just four people with the same time slot available than I had. We all write a different kind of fantasy which is exciting. I’m working my second book with the group. They are working on their books as well. We have had two meetings so far, and I hope everyone keeps coming back for more. I know I will. The critique I got at the first meeting was amazing. It was so helpful and good quality it blew me away. Instantly it improved my writing and a lot. And it wasn’t only the critique I got. It was also reading other people’s text and hearing the critique they got. It made me understand better what I did wrong with my first book which I’m ashamed now. I know I can do better. (Lately, I have been revisiting my first book to get it print ready. I have corrected all the mistakes, grammar and storytelling, I could find. I have added better transitions between scenes and added Aunt Margaret’s dead hand. I will release an update soon to my ebook as well. That is why I have been inactive on social media.)
It is so different to read other writer’s raw text. It opens your eyes better than reading a finished book. You understand what goes inside the writer’s head and what they are aiming at with their writing. And thus far I have liked all of their stories and can’t wait to see where they are heading. I can’t help but wonder why I didn’t join sooner, but we both know the answer to that. I wasn’t ready as a writer nor a human being. Forcing myself being active and open has improved my life. I don’t feel as isolated and alone. And to be honest, I am more at ease with myself and understand that my social hang-ups are okay; that they are part of me and I have to live with them and work around them. Don’t worry. I still hang around under my table when things get too real.
My only fear with the writing group is that it will turn inactive, that the interest will simmer down. We already have one who hasn’t turned either of our meetings and never gave a reason for that. But there’s no point be fearful something I can’t control. If the group disband, I find another group or ask one of the active members to be my critique partner. So it goes.
I have grown as a writer and human being a lot in these couple of months, and it hasn’t been easy nor always pretty, but I rather face what I am and what my weaknesses are than shut my eyes and pretend that everything is fine. The truth is that I’m only beginning as a writer and I do make mistakes. I have dyslexia which can be a bitch, but so what? I was born with it, and I have to go on with it. And yes, I struggle with people because pretending and talking about the weather is bizarre for me, but I can learn. I have already been studying the weather patterns, the causality between sea currents and… Anyway, if I could go back in time and say to my younger self something it would be this cliché: “Be brave, take risks, you got nothing to lose. You only get this one life. Make most out of it. And of course, you can be afraid of things, but that is no excuse to not to try.” So I try.
Thank you for reading!