I went to my writing discussion group today. We meet every Sunday and talk writing. In this group we don’t do critiques. We talk about what we are writing and the craft in general. Everyone bounces ideas off each other. Sometimes we do writing activities together. Mostly it’s like therapy. We each seem to need some contact with other humans who love what we love, or sometimes who feel the same frustration and pain we feel when it comes to writing. Just being around other creative types can inspire. Today I felt a bit lost in my story. I’ve finished a Very rough draft of book one and I’m tiptoeing into the second story. The problem is I have no idea where it’s going. I haven’t been able to truly sit down and plot it out. I have the basics but the first story has evolved so much that what I have for the second is obsolete. This wasn’t so bad if it wasn’t nanowrimo time. So I griped about this to the group and everyone starts pitching ideas and asking questions. I came away with many lovely what-if questions and my mind is on fire with idea explosions.
I think every writer should get involved in some kind of group like this. For some it’s a critique group. For people too terrified to let anyone ready rough drafts, discussion groups work. Some groups work on projects together. Find the type of group that works for you. Writing is such a solitary endeavor that it’s good to have some regular contact with real people. It’s too easy for creative people to become, if not antisocial, then asocial. Going to my group pulls me out into the real world for a short time. In a way it’s like being able to be social and still live in my stories at the same time. For me that’s about as social as I get. I wonder if people in other creative arts ever get together like this.
Nanowrimo update: I didn’t get much written today but I got some planning done. I should have plenty to write tomorrow. I’m almost believe it’s possible to still win this year. Only 17,000 words to go!