Emerge Unstoppable in 2011!

Emerge Unstoppable in 2011! That's my mission this year. Join me as I blog about life during divorce, raising a three year old, and the fight to live one's dream of being a writer, a graphic designer, a prayerfully a success at it all.

Monday, March 14, 2011

ABCs for New Writers - "B" is for Building

As a new writer wrapped up in the idea of getting your very first work of brilliance published it is important to think about building. Within the craft of writing there are many ways to build – worlds, plots, scenes, dialog and dichotomy. To me, the most important construction project a new writer can take on has nothing to do with craft and everything to do with support. “B” is for Build your community.

Author C.L. Wilson reiterated this for me at the Southern Lights Conference in Jacksonville, Florida this weekend. She jokingly reminded me that if I would have created my writing world on a foundation of community instead of my very first WIP I would probably be in a much different place by now. But, like every new writer (and yes, I’m generalizing) I started out with the idea that I was the next Dickens and that the audience for my poignant work of modern-day fiction would be beating down the doors of B&N to purchase my genius. Boy was I clueless.

I wrote my first novel in five weeks time and, thinking (no joke) that it was shear perfection, sent it to every agent and editor I could get an e-mail address for. This was not a waste; it was something we will talk about in a later letter. The important point today is that I was rejected, over, and over (near about 247 overs) again.

I had no idea of community at that time. If I had, I would have called my closest writing friends and invited them over to celebrate my lack of success. No agent or editor would touch my project, but the advice they gave, one in particular, was what I needed to lay the first brick in my foundation. She asked if I was a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA).

It took another year for me to consider this advice seriously. At the Unicorn Press Writer’s Conference in Connecticut last March I heard that advice again but this time it was accompanied by, “Those folks down in Georgia throw one heck of a party.” My ears perked. “Moonlight and Magnolias!” I was so excited! The minute I got home I joined RWA and Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) and made plans to attend my first meeting (and P.S. couldn’t wait for Moonlight and Magnolias).

I walked away from my first GRW meeting with a renewed excitement about writing, not because I learned something new about craft (which I did) or got more information about the business of publishing (which I did) but because I now had a host of new friends following the same path. That meeting was less than a year ago and since then my community has grown one hundred fold. I am blessed to have both published and non-published writers to share in my journey. These are wonderful people I feel like I can call with questions, cry on their shoulders, or ask for help in a time of crisis. Two of these women, Pam Asberry and Pamela Mason became my critique partners. As a group we have celebrated and mourned both personally and professionally.

The point is, don’t waste time thinking you can do this on your own. Google the association most closely related to the work you do, find your local chapter and join both. Go to your first meeting. Make a new friend or two. Shore up your foundation early, build the community that will help you build your career.

Until Wisdom Wednesday, I remain Unstoppable.


  1. I couldn't agree more, Lindy. Everything is better with friends!

  2. Welcome!!! We love meeting new writers. We were all there once ourselves...grin....

    We are so glad you heard that Georgia reference. It's nice to know people are saying such wonderful things about us and even better to know that people are listening.

    Great blog, BTW!


  3. Pam and Tami - Thanks so much for stopping by and for all of your support. Looking forward to seeing you at GRW. Lindy