Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Staying Focused and Productive – the Power of the Writing Workout Partner by Joanne Walsh

Dieting or exercising alongside a partner can be really beneficial for keeping committed to and focused on your goal.  You have to show up at an appointed time because the other person has, and there’s someone you have to be accountable to.  When one gets tired or discouraged, the other can keep things going.  It also can be a lot of fun doing it with somebody else, rather than inching along on your own.  Is it the same for writing?

By nature, though I can relish solitude, on the whole I am sociable and want others’ input.  I am a member of a creative support group of four writers—we call ourselves The Diamonds.  We meet regularly to talk about writing and what we’re working on.  We set aside time for each member to read out a few pages of their current novel and then offer constructive feedback.  We listen to one another’s successes and setbacks with publishers and agents, and share valuable insights into the publishing business.  Sometimes, we break out to write together or in pairs.

Getting together with The Diamonds is the highlight of my month.  We keep each other on track and from sliding into the despair when a character or plot thread won’t come right, or if life is getting in the way of writing, with gallons of supportiveness and laughter. This is one productive writing habit I’ll be sticking to!

Joanne Walsh became hooked on romance when her grandma gave her a copy of Gone with the Wind for her birthday. The teachers at her strict girls' school didn't approve of reading such a 'racy' novel and confiscated it. But Joanne had been introduced to Rhett Butler and so began her life-long love affair with the rogue alpha hero. She became a voracious romance reader and, later, enjoyed a long career as an editor for one of the world's leading women's fiction publishers, where she collaborated with some wonderful writers.
These days, Joanne lives in the south of England and divides her time between working as a freelance fiction editor and writing romance, and spending time with her very own real-life hero...

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