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Perhaps this won't be news to anyone but, for a budding author, establishing a writing community has been essential.

This spring I joined a small writing group and have met up with them every month or few months as availability allows. It has been such a delightful experience. That I stumbled into this group was purely coincidental, as a result I feel even more fortunate to have found such exceptional and supportive writers. As a writer, this group has: 

- Championed my rejections (2 for 2) and taught me to view rejection as a natural step in the process. It's hard to feel too sorry for yourself when you're being hugged and patted on the back for the attempt.

- Shared resources. When I told one member of our group about my NaNo novel she was quick to provide a multitude of potentially useful organizations, articles, and books.

- Provided a sounding board for new ideas and feedback on what has been written.

- Encouragement! Encouragement! Encouragement! 

- Helped me move past my own barriers.

I know (in theory) that all you need to consider yourself a writer is to write. Despite my dreams of becoming a published author, I am moving toward that goal slowly, with the tiniest babiest of steps. This blog has been one of those steps. A step that I started and abandoned this spring. When I logged back on in September, just as soon as I realized there were people, other than me, out there in the world reading what I wrote, I committed to writing more regularly - this is my third week in a row! But I haven't publicized this blog to anyone I know (except my sister). There is something about making a website or a writing/author-specific instagram or facebook page that feels official and scary. Anyone who knows me know that I do not typically hesitate about new endeavors. I throw myself into projects with carefully-thought out abandon. So this is a new feeling for me, this cautiousness. My writing group is helping me to move forward and get over my own insecurities. I didn't realize it before but if I had to go back in time and pick a word for the year 2019 it would be vulnerable

Let's be friends

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