As we approach June, many writers will be participating in JuNoWriMo—a motivational writing group event dedicated to helping authors write a novel-length manuscript during the month of June. A similar support group event happens in November with NaNoWriMo. It is easy to sign up for these groups and participation is free. Writers encourage each other over social media—Facebook, Twitter, and so forth. Why is this type of support important? Because novel writing is very much a solitary event: It is just the author and his/her writing implement of choice desperately trying to get the words in his/her head out there for the world to read. This leads to a lot of isolation on the part of writers, so having a month (or two) during the year when you can spend time writing, being cheered on by other writers, and encouraging them in turn is priceless. There’s enough negative reinforcement from non-writers about writing to fill the rest of the year. Comments like “Do think people will pay you for that? Aren’t ebooks free?” or “Why not write something good like [insert popular series name here] instead of what you are working on?” My favorite one is “why do you waste your time doing that? Shouldn’t you be focusing on [an activity the speaker feels is more important]?” Because, of course, the speaker assumes that, as an adult, I simply do not know the “best” way to spend my time. Sigh. Instead of focusing on criticsm, take this time to focus on what makes you happy—writing. Get those words down on paper or on screen. Spend your time the way that you want to spend it, and if you are looking for a social connection with another group of writers, join one of the many JuNoWriMo and/or NaNoWriMo groups on social media. And keep writing. There are those of us who want to read your story!
Have any “memorable” criticisms of your craft by non-writers that you want to share? Leave them in the comments below!