Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Writing Friends are Cheerleaders on Your Way To Publication

"Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does." Psalm 96:3

Diane Estrella read these verses to our writing group last night and encouraged us that we aren't just to write. We are to "Publish."

Writer's groups will encourage you on your publishing road. Often called critique groups—I prefer calling my group "writers" because critique sounds too, well, critical.

Here's how the one I attend works: We meet once a month. Every participant is given 15 minutes to do whatever they wish. Some ask writing questions or share something they've learned. Most bring a writing project they are working on, distribute copies to everyone, read it, and listen while the rest of us give praise and suggest ways to improve what was read.

Having other eyes read what you wrote reveals mistakes you've missed. My 3rd book, We All Married Idiots: Three Things You'll Never Change About Your Marriage and Ten Things You Can, has been read and critiqued about 20 times. I'm in the final edits and still finding errors we all missed. It's critical to have your manuscript critiqued by others before you send it to a publisher and many more times before it is published. Typos, unclear sentences, bad grammar, etc., can distract your reader from the message you are hoping they receive.

When writers gather there is so much laughter and creativity and energy in one room, it is invigorating. Wish I had pictures of my writing friends in Horseheads, NY, where I lived when my first book was published. They are treasures who walked an amazing journey with me, cheering me on. When my husband's job required we move, every person in the Horseheads' group was a published writer.

When we moved to Rome, NY, one of my first priorities was finding writers to meet with monthly. The Lord sent me amazing, gifted, loving encouragers for my journey to book three:

Here are some random shots and fun from last night's writing group:

On the right is the lovely Diane Estrella. I call her God's gift sent to me. We actually met on facebook. She is a blogger extaordinaire at www.DianeEstrella.com. Diane is writing a series of children's books that are sensational.

On the left is Paula Davis—a woman with Godly wisdom, she keeps us centered on Christ. I don't know if she wants this shared, but publicity is good, Paula. She completed a touching book of Christmas advent devotionals she hopes to be published soon. Her blog is www.PaulaDavispeace.com

On the right is the energetic and full-of-Christ and full-of-fun Lisa Buske. Lisa and I connected the moment we met at the Upstate NY Christian Writer's Gathering. Her book, Where's Heidi? The Search Begins, tells the story of her sister Heidi's abduction and the work God did in her life through the pain. Where's Heidi? is being considered by several publishers. She is a fabulous speaker and writer and advocate for missing children. Visit her website for more information at www.LisaBuske.weebly.com.

On the left is Melissa Rottenberry--a poet whose writings touch hearts. Since coming to our writer's group, she has been published in a Christian periodical.

In the middle is Jody Zilske. An English professor who dots our i's and crosses our t's, Jody is one of the best writers I have ever read. When reading her work, I am in awe and sense I am in the presence of one of the greatest. Literally, it's like C.S. Lewis is sitting in the room. She writes for children and for adults and everyone in between. Prolific? She defines that word. You can "like" Jody's facebook page, Deep Calls to Deep.

On the right is Amy Quonce whose book Sometimes The Wind Blows Sideways: Our Lives With A Special Needs Child, was published in December 2011. She has a painful and joyful story that the world needs to read. Check out her website at www.windingroadbook.weebly.com.

Of course, we couldn't end our delightful evening without a Bananagrams game. As Jody said while we met, "Oh, isn't it fun to play with words!" That's what writer's do. We play with words. It is fun.

May God splash some serenity on your writing as you publish His glorious deeds!



  1. Thank you for encouraging us too. I was giddy after last night and look with expectancy for all we are going to do. EXCITING! Hugs sweet friend!!! :O)

  2. Yes, a trusted writing or crit group is the #1 item in your writerly toolbox!

  3. Looks like an amazing group of gals...what an encouragement to you as you work thru what God has placed on your heart to share!!

  4. I'm so thankful you started this group and that I "happened" to meet you on a Sunday morning and get an invitation! My only "complaint" about our meetings is that I come home so fired up & with so many ideas that it's hard to go to sleep! blessings!

  5. I'm so thankful you started this writers' group and that I "happened" to meet you on a Sunday morning and get an invitation! What a blessing in my life! My only "complaint" is that I come home so fired up after we meet that it's hard to go to sleep with all the ideas and thoughts going through my mind!

  6. Thank you for hosting and starting this beautiful group. I too appreciate the invitation to join - I look forward to our gatherings. The drive is so worth it. I love and value you all. :)

    Lisa M Buske


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