Friends Don't Let Friends Write (or Drink) Alone
Writing is lonely work. Sure you've got your characters to keep you company. But at some point, all that talking to yourself makes you question your sanity. All joking aside, the scariest step a writer can take is to send her work out into the world. What if it sucks and everyone tells you? What if you send it out and everyone likes it? What if there are problems. What if?
The best advice I can give is don't write alone. Don't shut yourself away and never share your work. Find other writers who share our crazy passion for imaginary people. I write both fiction and non fiction and have a network of great writers who cross both lines.
Here's a secret (whispering) we all have the same fears.
I faced some of my what if fears back in 2014. I went on a writer's retreat, the Algonkian Writer's Conference (shout out to Michael Neff). There are scores of retreats through the country all year long. If you've got the inclination you can travel abroad. I chose Algonkian because it was close to home. Little did I realize, but the benefits of a short drive were nothing compared to the true riches, the group of writers, most of whom are local to me. I have forged an amazing relationship of new friends, writers. And if you write, you know that people who share your passion are different than those who simply love you.
These amazing people are my personal coaches, critique partners, recipients of good news (and bad) and my power source. When I finished my novel manuscript, they were the first ones I told.
We gather when we can and share some wine and our love of writing. We brainstorm, we laugh, we connect. We write.
If you write too - don't write alone.