Writing is a solitary pursuit. Most writers, probably the vast majority, are proud introverts, which is awesome. Some of my favorite people and most of my favorite authors are introverts. Keep on keeping on, friends. However…. I’m not a member of the introvert club.
I’m an extrovert to the extreme. I love people, parties energize me, I talk quite a bit (I can hear my friends laughing right now- cut it out, you guys!) and I think best when I have someone to bounce ideas off of. This is part of why I love workshopping so much. My brain kicks into gear when I hear other people’s thoughts on my work. I love to find out what intrigued them, confused them, or hooked their interest. The process of explaining my story to a listener gives me insight that I couldn’t have reached on my own. Similarly, I love reading and critiquing other people’s writing for both altruistic and selfish reasons- it’s helpful for them and it gets my brain whirring with ideas for my own work.
Unfortunately for me, I can’t write my book *with* other people. Crowd sourcing a novel would be impractical (although it sounds kind of amazing) but still, sometimes I NEED to discuss plot points and ideas with someone else. Anyone else. Too bad for me because there aren’t many people with the free time and energy to read through the 130,000 words of this series I’ve already written, with all of the missing scenes, nonsensical plot twists, and confusing name changes.
My poor husband has been the patient recipient of much of my brainstorming sessions but (no offense, hon) he’s not great with feedback. Not much of a talker, and he hasn’t read any of it yet, so… yeah.
Which brings me to my point. A posse. In one writing class I mentioned that what I really needed was a writing group, a posse if you will. A group of writers who meet informally to read each other’s work in its entirety and provide feedback. One of my classmates said, “I’ll be in your posse.” Sold! He already has an agent and his first manuscript is winging its way to publishers as we speak, but he still needs fresh eyes on his work. We all do. I have his finished manuscript waiting on my reader right now but I’m not letting myself read it until I hit some word goals. Patience, patience…
I’m starting a new class in January and I’ll be scoping out the new classmates for potential posse members, too. In the meantime I need to finish NaNoWriMo and wrap up all the loose ends in my story so that I have something coherent to share with my writer posse.
But if you’re a writer… I’ll let you read mine if you let me read yours. :
So. Want to join a posse?