At this moment I am involved in four writing groups, two virtual and two that involve actually sitting down with other writers and working together on each other’s writing. This isn’t a permanent situation and it is a lot of work to not only keep up with my own writing but read and critique several manuscripts every week (okay, ten or so), but I am reaping the benefits.
The advice to read published books in your own genre is handed out in every class and by every editor, agent and conference panel. Writers are readers and by reading in your field you can begin to see what you like, what you don’t like, what works and what doesn’t. But it is only now that I am reading so many other writers’ works in progress that I can feel the benefit of this kind of reading as well. With so much work to review and comment on, I’ve developed a kind but strict eye to grammar, verbal tics, story shape and form and am bringing this strictness to my own revisions as well. I’m also benefitting from lots of eyes on my own work (reciprocity!). When similar comments crop up from multiple readers you know you have an issue.
In the 80’s I played softball – very poorly but I made some great friends. Our Jack and Jill team was sponsored by the news stand at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, Read All About It. Our rallying cry was Read Read Read! It befuddled opponents, or just made them feel sorry for us, but it’s my rallying cry for Inspiration Wednesday. Imagine the smell of the grass, the damp dirt, the hollow sound of a metal bat hitting a softball.
Read Read Read!