The Power of Being Vulnerable

Last Wednesday I was an invited speaker at a reading featuring local authors.

I got some laughs (phew!) and sold some books. It took nerve to do it, but I’m so glad I did.

In the breaks, I talked to other writers whose stories I had enjoyed immensely. And guess what? They knew who I was and told me they’d enjoyed my story. Some of them even asked questions about the status of the novel I’d read from at a similar event five months ago.

Can you imagine how that felt?

These great writers and performers remembered my work?!

Some of these writers have connections with a wider circle of writers in the area, some of whom are pretty big deals in their genres.

And now I have a connection to that wider world.

I want to talk to you today about how you can build and expand on YOUR network of writers

I got my opportunity because of a tiny decision I made about 8 years ago, to turn up at a local writers’ group’s critique night.

That group has been one of the best ways for me to get embedded in the local writing scene, and a wider writing scene. We share tips about conferences, contests, scholarships, events, blogs we’ve liked, podcasts we’ve discovered, basically anything to do with improving our craft. Sometimes we become friends

But Julie, I hear you say, I thought you said it was a critique group.

It is!

There’s a vulnerability and trust in the act of sharing your work, that encourages deep connections to grow.

I know I’m lucky. I live in a densely-populated area with lots of over-educated people, many of whom want to write.

You may not be so lucky.

Except that you are, because we live in the future, and we can do almost anything online that my group does in the physical world.

And this is the bit where I finally get to the point.

This time last year I offered a ten-day online critique group. A dozen writers showed up, critiqued each other’s work and received a full critique of a story (or 3000 words of a longer piece) from me and at least three other members of the group.

And I’m doing it again this year. Jun 21-28 is our next Critique ‘Week’.

You can sign up between now and Jun 21, 2018, but I’m not sure when this opportunity will come around again. We did it last year and it was a great experience.

If you want in, sign up now!

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