Friday, March 27, 2009

Cyber Walk Down Memory Lane

I figured that someone out there might be curious about my journey from wanting to write a novel, to where I am today. This is sort of a cyber-walk down memory lane :)

1) The first place of any real signifigance I joined to learn the craft of writing was Writer's Village University. There I met a wonderful group of women, though my Aunt Beth, who were my sisters for the first five years of my writing life. We went through much together and I still consider them the writing sisters of my heart.
Writer's Village University

2) From there, I branched out, and joined Charlotte Dillon's Romance Writer's Community, which is a fabulous website and email list. Their critique exchange helped me tremendously.
Romance Writer's Community

3) About a year into my first novel, I met a wonderful woman in a chat. Milli Thornton. She encouraged me tremendously, helped me get through a very rocky issue with my writing confidence, and eventually hired me to create her online writing course based on her exceptionally helpful book, Fear of Writing.
Fear of Writing

4) I struggled tremendously with self-editing and joined the Adult Creative Writer's Club. Their monthly contest was a real eye opener for me and when I finally--finally!!!--won that contest, I was over the moon! Having your writing judged annonymously by so many writers is truly a test of your skill and helped me learn what my strengths were, and where I truly needed to develop my craft.
Adult Creative Writer's Club

5) RWA contests, where I got detailed judges reports from more than one person, and then eventually went on to win one, gave me the industry insight I needed to understand the romance novel and how to write in that genre.
Romance Writer's of America

6) This last is a sort of no-brainer, but I have to add it because as a self-taught author, I spent legions of hours here: the library. While we were still a struggling young family, I coldn't afford much and all these wonderful writing books people recommended to me would have been out of my reach if it weren't for my public library. The research I did for each of my books there still saves me a mint on technical and/or informational books. (Such as using their college texts on genetics to create the basis for my werewolf novel.)

I hope some of you all will maybe check out one or two of these places and see if there's something that they might help you with as well. While I've been a member of many great places, like WRWA and online forums that helped tremendously, the above list is where I did the bulk of my growing as an author.

Do you have a fond memory of somewhere you began that you'd like to share? Or maybe someplace that is important to you today? If so, share them in the comments as I'd love us all to wallow in positivity today! *GRIN*


1 comment:

Milli Thornton said...

Jenny, what a great idea to write a summary of your path for other writers to follow according to their own needs.

I might do something along those lines on my new screenwriting blog re the learning curve I went through to write my first script. Maybe someone reading it can take an even more direct path than I did.

Thanks so much for mentioning me on your list. You're a living, breathing source of inspiration for the rest of us to be the writers we want to be!

I well remember you encouraging me to write a novel of my own--and that encouragement did not go astray. In fact, at dinner a few nights ago I was reminiscing to Brian about how you used to say that to me. OK, so it turned out to be a screenplay not a novel, but the effect is the same. You believed in me....