Why The World Needs Writer’s Groups

by Patricia Walters-Fischer

My daughter is an amazing kid. Really, she’s one of those kids who seem to be aware of the world around her. Not just in a “oh look there’s a butterfly” sort of way. More like, “there’s a butterfly, let me make sure no one hurts it because it might be endangered” sort of way.

Now, she’s come up with a book idea to interview kids who are animal rescue and rehab volunteers. I think it’s a great idea, but what my sweet girl doesn’t quite understand is the work involved in writing said book.

So far, we’ve interviewed one person and have another eight to go. I keep asking her what questions she wants to ask the kids and she rattles off about three questions. Then she asks to go play. I explain to her you can ask those three questions, but chapters aren’t written on only a few questions. She’s got to get in there and come up with more things to ask as the interview goes on, get the person to talk more, give you more information because each person is different.

Looking at me, she said, “Write, Edit, Publish, right?”

I nod, then add, “Well, it’s more like write, edit, write, edit, edit, edit, edit, write, edit, edit, edit, then publish.”

Her eyes grew wide. “Really? That much?”

I ask her again about what she wants to say.

Her shoulders fall and she sighs, “I already told you the questions.”

That’s kind of like us, when we’re writing a new book. We have this great idea, this grandiose plan, but the details tend to make our mind wander or make us feel overwhelmed.

I want to write a story about mermaids—then it’ll start in 1700’s Ireland and end in modern day Southern California. Oh, and I’ll have a covered wagon and a train and a great looking guy, and a hurricane and they’ll live happily ever after. 
Now how in the world do I get them from Ireland to California?

Ugh! I need coffee…and chocolate.

Or you can approach it from another way, from what I call the Dug Way. (Dug is the dog from Pixar’s Up!)

Okay, I want to write about mermaids—you know my great-grandparents came from Danmark and that’s where Hans Christian Anderson is from and he wrote The Little Mermaid—wait, I want to write a book—focus. Okay, mermaids, mermaids…if mermaids came on land, do you think they need sunblock? What kind of sunblock would they use?

Wait, back to the book…SPF 30 or 50?

Ugh! I need coffee…and chocolate.

So how do you get from point A to Point B, C, D and all the way down to Z?

This is the beauty of having writer friends who can help you brainstorm, critique, or simply tell you to get back to writing your book instead of posting on Facebook about what happened at the grocery store last week.

Having other writers in your corner, especially great writers, can only make you stronger. They are there when you get that crappy rejection letter, that “thanks but no thanks” rejection letter that doesn’t help you at all, and they are some of your biggest supporters when you succeed.

Because of my writer’s group, I can not only brag that I’ll have a book published this year, but I have the knowledge to help my daughter’s dream a reality.
Thank you SARA’s for making all these dreams come true.