By Robin D. Owens
"My brain has decided that writing isn't a temporary job anymore," said Laila, a writer I've been sprinting alongside in the mornings lately.
"I'm rearranging my office this morning during our writing sprints. When I started working my day job from home and writing too, I assumed it was temporary. I thought I was going to join an MBA program. But after finishing this manuscript, I've realized that writing isn't a temporary job anymore."
"That's important." I typed back. I spend most of my days with an online group doing sprints. They are motivational and supportive (the people . . . though I suppose the sprints – wars – are supportive, too, and certainly motivational).
Everyone is invited. The ones who stay find this process works for them (it doesn't for everyone). We are published traditionally, published by small press, self-published, published through Kickstarter, and unpublished. Laila is unpublished.
Laila joined the war room (a specialized chat room) in March (yes, I asked her since I'm writing this with her in the war room) "one week into the draft of the manuscript."
The last couple of months have been intense in the war room, with three of us solidly working. I was late with Heart Legacy and turned it in May 8, then jumped on Ghost Talker, due at the end of this month. (Ha, ha, ha).
Jay had a book due to her small press on June 15. Both Laila and Jay finished their manuscripts on the same day last week.
We all celebrated with cheers and virtual champagne. Because we aren't in the same room, you know, or even in the same area.
We are worldwide. Sweden, England, Ireland, East Coast Canada, Central Time, Mountain Time and West Coast Time zones are all represented.
But we are a community, an extremely supportive and motivated bunch. And that's incredibly important to me. By now, I would say that daily support is necessary to me.
I've done the home-from-day-job-start-writing business. I did that for many years, writing alone in the dark every night, writing on weekends and holidays. At that time (and now) I had RMFW critique buddies, the monthly meetings and various get-togethers for support.
For me, the support of writing friends is vital.
I think it is vital for all writers. You aren't alone. There are others out there like you. People who hear characters speak to them or see a scene roll before their inner eyes. Or writers who struggle with character decisions, turning points and plot. Clunky words and learning technique. And if you hang around us, we will motivate you to write.
A caveat: Make sure you find the group that fits you. Ditch the ones that drag you down and suck out your energy and emotions (because, yes, some do).
But if RMFW fits you (and it boggles my mind that it wouldn't), stick with us, your friends in RMFW, your critique group buddies. Your Writing Groups. We will help you. We'll be there. You can count on us.
May you write wonderful words today.
(p.s. send me an email if you think you need the wordwars group -- robindowens (at) gmail (dot) com. I'll get back to you with the chat room url and password. Like I said we're open to everyone, but a lot of people come and go deciding whether or not we work for them. We tend to do days in the U.S. Sometimes evenings and nights. We do have a spec fic slant.)