Revise with Someone New

Spring Wordbees 1

I’m in the process of revising one manuscript while I’m beginning to write another.  Revising is a slow and painful process and I’d much rather spend my time watching Beverly Hills 90210.  I need deadlines.

Writing groups are wonderful for deadlines.  You need to write something for the other people to read.  I used to think I needed a writing group of five or six people to be official.  I couldn’t find five or six people to meet twice a month to exchange writing.  (Brenda and Kelly probably could have.)

I was frustrated until I realized that I train for races with just one other person.  When I make running or swimming dates, I keep them because I know someone else will be there.  In fact, I was more determined to get there when only one other person was waiting for me.  There would be no one to take my place if I just stayed home.  I decided the same could apply to writing.

Instead of looking for a whole group of people, I found one.  We meet every other week.  We enjoy each others’ writing and give helpful suggestions and criticism.  Just like with training, it’s actually more pressure to have something to share when there is just one other person.  In a group,  someone generally has something so you can slip under the radar and not share anything.   In my case, if I don’t write, my writing partner doesn’t read anything.  It puts more pressure on me to have something to give her.  She feels the same.

It’s helped immensely to force me to revise and rewrite.

It’s also easier to find one person instead of five or six.  I’ve found writing partners through NaNoWriMo, writing conferences, and writing classes.

In this springtime of renewal and rewriting, I suggest finding someone new to share your writing with and see what they have to say about it.   It will force you to write.  I guarantee it or your money back.

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About Marianne Hansen

I am a redhead with three kids, a dead fish, and a law degree.
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One Response to Revise with Someone New

  1. Susan says:

    Thanks for this, Marianne. I have personal commitments which make it difficult to get out of the house to attend regularily scheduled writer’s groups, and have spent too long approaching this problem from the end of trying to solve those circumstances. I had just come to the conclusion that a more timely solution would be to just start a group of my own, and was kind of thinking that seemed like a big commitment that might take away from my time to write. But your solution is great – combines the advantages of each choice without the disadvantages. Easier to find a time in two peoples schedules without lots of admin time etc. I am that extreme black and white girl, and it is so great when someone points out that lovely shimmery shade of gray.
    Thanks for that! Now I just have to get somewhere to meet a partner….

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