But I am still here, and thought that I might share with you guys some of the things that I have learned from building an in-real-life community.
Plus, the TED talk I was going to blog about today REFUSES to embed. :)
So, here's the first post in the series, What I've Learned at the Loft:
You can't jump the line.
|If you are one of our cats, you CAN jump the turkey-leg-line.|
Let me clarify a bit. I've seen people get publishing deals in a short amount of time. But mostly, those people had a very steep learning curve. They responded well to critiques, made adjustments, and rebounded (from crits or rejections) very quickly.
I no longer think that this business is about perseverance. Or maybe it's not solely about perseverance.
It's about quickly learning when something isn't working and making adjustments.
Since I have founded a writing community whose members include published authors, some writers have approached me and asked me to "get them an agent." (None of these writers attempting to jump the line wanted to stay and join the community.)
Eeek! I'm not agented myself. I don't have a book published. And even though writers at the Loft have found inroads in publishing because they hobnob with authors further along in the journey than themselves, those Loft writers have also put in the time to critique, give back and support the community.
You can't just show up and jump the line. You need to try something and when it fails, you make adjustments. When a crit shows you where your ms is less than stellar, you make adjustments by revising. When you get a critique that doesn't jive with where your ms is going, you make adjustments by finding a new crit partner. When you query agents and don't get the response you wanted, you get more feedback on your query and you (all together now) make adjustments.
Sometimes it seems like people were overnight successes, or that they were in the right place at the right time. They probably were in the right place at the right time, because they paid attention to what worked and followed that. They made the right adjustments.
What is the hardest adjustment you've had to make in your writing career? An adjustment of expectations? An adjustment of what success looks like? Tell me!