I belong to an interesting and always-changing writers’ group in the Raleigh, NC, area. It’s a working group rather than a critique group, and it’s a good place to ask questions and get opinions about little problems regarding the work at hand. It’s a very diverse bunch of people, and while there are approximately 80 people who “signed up” to be a part of it, only a handful of us are regulars. Some come and go, others came and went, and I expect that’s how it will be for the life of the group. And that’s fine.
The other night, at my writers’ group, I posted on my Facebook page:
A lively FB conversation ensued wherein suggestions were given and encouragement was plentiful about how I could handle my dilemma. The post was the result of a ‘writer’s epiphany’, and I meant the post to be more of a statement/rhetorical question. But that’s not how it turned out because I have some truly wonderful friends who always have excellent things to contribute. I was, of course, distracted by the Facebook conversation, but I allowed it because it told me to keep working, keep fine-tuning, keep trying to make the novel the best it can be. (And thank you, A, for reminding me to FOCUS!)
The young adult novel in question has a working title of The Hardest Thing. Just look around you, and you’ll recognize many challenges that can be categorized as “the hardest thing” you have to do on any given day, in any given situation. The trick to success is to not let those “hardest things” be insurmountable but rather to greet challenges with confidence, and open mind, and an unwavering curiosity. It works for writers, no matter what they write, and there’s no reason why the same couldn’t work for everything else.
As you can well imagine, I didn’t get much done that night, but that’s fine. I know what I have to do, and sometimes, that’s the hardest part about writing.