I Get By With a Little Help From my Friends

Posted by Sara Grant

As writers we battle with our computers for thousands of lonely hours – sweating over plot and wrestling characters. We read and revise and move words and punctuation around on the page until we can see no room for improvement.

               But we aren’t the best judge of our own work. Sometime we are too critical. We let our inner critic or a fear of failure keep our precious manuscripts forever in a state of flux – or worse yet hidden away. And we read the story we think we put on the page. We know what we intended to create and puzzle why others can’t follow our sometimes random ramblings

               I’ve never written a novel that didn’t need – as John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote – a little help from my friends. I’m lucky to have a wonderful agent and editors who offer advice, feedback and support. Also I’ve been in writers’ groups for nearly 20 years. That routine of giving and receiving feedback from like-minded writers has always been an invaluable part of my creation process.

      Book Bound started as four friends who were also authors and editors gathering to write together. At first we planned writers’ weekends with regimented writing schedules. It was a great motivator to work alongside amazing writers/editors like Karen Ball, Sara O’Connor and Jasmine Richards and feel encouraged to create. And, yes, we left plenty of time for good food and drink, wacky excursions and late night chats.

               These weekends evolved to include more opportunities to learn from one another. We’d brainstorm solutions if one of us was having plot problems. We’d shared our mistakes and successes. We eventually suggested topics and took turns leading discussions. I would walk away from these weekends inspired – and with thousands of words written.

               There’s magic in gathering with people who are as passionate about writing and children’s literature as you are. There’s power in sharing your ideas, getting feedback and learning from one another.

               We hope to find a small group of writers who are willing to join us for a weekend of inspiration, collaboration and camaraderie. And if you can’t make it to Book Bound, we hope you’ll find a group of passionate and dedicated writers and organize your own writers’ retreat.

               I’ve done more than get by with help from my friends. These weekends have helped me achieve my dream of becoming a published writer. I couldn’t have done it without their encouragement, advice and friendship.

One thought on “I Get By With a Little Help From my Friends

  1. Oh, this is so true! There’s nothing better than the support and critique you get from a group of people whom you like, admire and trust. I find it invaluable for my own writing.

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