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When I set my mind on writing about two 1/2 years ago, I was a much different person, writer. I had no idea what this whole writing a story entailed. I just knew the multitude of ideas in my head needed to be shared. My first hurdle was realizing that I needed to learn to write. I mean, I could write but not well enough to convince an agent/publisher that I was the next Who-That? and invest in me and my work.
So I began studying the art of writing, reading and tearing apart some of the most popular authors of today's YA realm. I asked myself What makes them so That? Slowly, the fog began to lift off my horrid writing (yeah, I wrote a first YA novel of 160,000 words). But I needed more than to just study others' work. I needed to discuss it.
Despite being egregiously skittish, I began sharing my work with others. Their fresh eyes washed the dirt from my work, exposing what needed to be improved. Their advice and encouragement began to sink in--molding the new writer I am today.
When I asked my amazing Oasis Sisters what element of writing they were most thankful for, the answer was a collective one ~ each other, the YA writing community as a whole, and critique partners. It was as easy as that.
I know there's no way on this planet I would be where I am right now without those wonderful, patient writers who've taken the time to read my work and give observations on how to make my novel shine.
We're pretty private here on Oasis. When we fired up this blog, we'd decided we wanted it to be for you ~ to support you. But over the months since we've been working together, trying to support you, something happened. We've been supporting each other. Each time one of us got an email requesting material, we'd all scurry and read, helping to make that sister's work shine. Or when one finally leaped over that hurdle of outlining or finishing a manuscript, we've been there to cheer and say hooray!
Through our writing friendships, each of us has taken steps closer to fulfilling our dreams and growing in our writing careers.
The successes we've each had since working together are sure to bleed into this new year, and I'm excited for each of us and for you. We are thankful for our CPs and for you.
Do you have critique partners or other writers willing to read your work? How have they helped you become a better writer?