A few weeks ago I was talking about how cool it is to hook up with other YA authors. I got to do that again this past week with two fellow Debs when Kristin Walker and I went to Aprilynne Pike's booksigning at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, IL. After the signing we hung out and gabbed and had a great time. And it reminded me how needed it is to talk to other people in your field, other people who "get it". Sure you have plenty of friends and family that you can talk to but will they really understand how torn up you are when you get another new cover so close to your release (um, yeah. If you haven't noticed my cover has disappeared from the sidebar on our blog here. #3 is in the works) or you're revising your book for the 50th time? As authors we're not in cubicles in an office building where we can get up from our desks at any time and walk across the aisle to a friend and whine about the boss or the neverending project problems. So we need to find other ways of doing this. And here are a few suggestions you may want to try:
Writing Retreats: You can shell out some bucks and go to a nice organized one with an instructor and everything like this one in Italy or you can grab a couple of writing friends and make-up your own writing retreat like Em, Deena, and I did when we picked a spot inbetween where we all lived and rented a floor in a B&B for the weekend. And gave the retreat a cool name of course.
Conferences: Or try a conference! I still haven't been to any of the SCBWI conferences but I hear such good stuff about them! And the big SCBWI-LA one is coming up. From what I'm told, all the cool people go to this one.
Writing Groups: Start or join a writing group. You may not be able to find a young adult fiction only group but there are plenty of general writing groups out there. Go to a Web site like meetup.com and type in your city and writing and see what's out there. It's a chance to hang out with other writers anyway. Or, walk into your local Indie book store or Barnes & Nobles and ask to see their calendar of events. My local B&N, for example, has a monthly writer's group where people take turns reading their works aloud.
What about you guys? Do you successfully reach out to other writers to stay sane in this business and if so, how do you do it?Kristina, Miss Delighted to Debut