Back to My Writing Group Roots

Back to My Writing Group Roots

It’s Day 52 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m thrilled to say last night I went back to my writing group roots. Back in 2010, when my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, was still a rough draft –– and I do mean rough –– I began attending a small writing group that met near the Kinder Care where I was director. By day I dealt with the Ds ––– challenges women face –– in full force there amongst Middletown’s rust belt’s demographic –– poor women and children living in poverty and despair as accurately depicted in J.D. Vance’s  Hillbilly Elegy.   By night I wrote.. Middletown Area Christian Writers or M.A.C. provided the sounding board and support for me to finally get the story out of my head and heart and onto paper. Then a career move led me to become a life coach but too far away to continue attending the group. I attended another wonderful group for a while and have tried others, but there’s just something about getting back to where you got started. Returning last night felt like the best homecoming. A complete welcome back into the fold that makes me so grateful I finally got back to my writing group roots.

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Front and back cover picturing Lee Edwards, the protagonist and heroine.

Still, the writing reunion was also bittersweet. I’d stayed away  long enough that I missed the chance to see a dear member who passed away a few weeks ago…But I was blessed by those who had read my novel despite not seeing me for years. Critique time offered the opportunity to hear what other writers are working on and revealed how talented and multi-faceted they can be as was demonstrated by an older woman writing a novel in a genre I would never have imagined. Being selected as a beta reader for a successful author, Linore Rose Burkard,  who published a Regency Romance trilogy –– one of my favorite series ––  with a major Christian publisher is an honor and a thrill! I can’t wait to have a sneak peek at her Regency time travel!

And of course, getting to share the prologue of Hold on Her Heart, Book 2 in the Lee’s Legacy series, yielded invaluable feedback and suggestions on what’s right and wrong with what I’ve done thus far. It also motivates me to keep writing –– something I’ve done much too little of since stepping into my role as Women’s Center Director. Having one of our board members as a fellow writing group member, though, and hearing her tell how God has me in the right place confirms the fact that even though I haven’t written as consistently as I’d like, God will use my ministry at the shelter to strengthen me as a writer.

If you’ve never checked out Seasons of Her Soul, I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and take a moment to learn how Lee Edwards minimizes her barriers –– mostly in the form of domestic violence  –– and maximizes beauty and her best life.  If you do, maybe you’ll want to read Hold on Her Heart which I hope to finish by the end of the yea.  Now that I’m back to my writing group roots.

Be Savvy & Chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 
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Marvelous Marketing Mavens

Marvelous Marketing Mavens

It’s Day 361 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and last night I got to see how other writers brand their products and am beyond impressed with these marvelous marketing mavens! The topic for this month’s monthly writing group meeting was on marketing our materials. Authors of children’s books, devotionals, dystopian, fantasy, historical fiction, non fiction, poetry, regency romance, short stories, time travel and contemporary women’s Christian fiction like me, brought banners – little and life sized, book cards and marks, candy, crayons, giveaways, resources, stationery, stickers, stuffed animals, and any number of other materials emblazoned with our brands, logos, and names. In addition, each of of shared the social media and technology strategies we utilize from the ones that have been around for a while – like blogging and Facebook (the only gentleman in the picture but not in the group has a HUGE FB following), to software programs that can customize printed pieces as well as a Vista Print designer. In my relatively new role as secretary, I took several pics and plan to post them on our group’s Facebook page next week. I got inspired by the creativity and dedication displayed by my writing tribe and look forward to sharing more about these marvelous marketing mavens!

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Dayton Christian Scribes. Me, Pink Collar Coach, in the blue shrug & print top with blue & bone. All Calvin Klein – TJ Maxx.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose author, I’m so thankful to have found this group. Several members are published, many are well on their way and some are award winning. Self-published, traditionally published and e-published are among our ranks. We come together to critique one another’s work, discuss writing and publishing, to share information and just to lift one another up. It’s so obvious that we speak the same language – if not the same genre – and often talk for long after the meeting is over. Last night, five us women stood in the parking lot laughing, learning and simply loving on each other…Warm and fuzzier aside, these women know their stuff and give constructive criticism that sometimes hurts but helps much more. Because I want to make my readers’ experience the best it can possibly be, I take their feedback to heart. To give you  a great reading experience, I have to get the books into your hands – or on your screens. All the more reason to maximize the knowledge of these marvelous marketing mavens.

Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about marketing your brand or business? How can you maximize the knowledge of mavens in your field?

Be Savvy & Chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

Critical Acclaim and Constructive Critiques – The Benefits of Both

Critical Acclaim and Constructive Critiques – The Benefits of Both

It’s Day 282 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and tonight I was the recipient of critical acclaim and constructive critiques; thankfully, I can see the benefits of both. Throughout my busy day of taking care of not so fun professional tasks and awesome life coaching, I looked forward to tonight’s writing group. Last month I stepped up to try and fill the large shoes of the former secretary who’d served in the role faithfully for many years. After getting my first newsletter out earlier this week, I then tweaked the outline for Hold on Her Heart, the sequel to my debut novel right before the meeting. Upon arrival, one talented member, who I know is a discerning reader, let me know how impactful Seasons of Her Soul is for her. Next the visitor she brought surprised me by saying she’s on chapter five. For someone who’s dreamed of being published since I was six, it doesn’t get much better than that! But it did – when a gentleman who served as a beta reader and was a bit critical of the test manuscript shared with the group that he enjoyed the book! This critical acclaim held me in good stead when my outline received less than stellar feedback. Much as I value the optimism about the book I’ve already published – it bolsters me to keep writing – I embrace the opportunity to improve the next one – and my writing – based on constructive critiques. There are benefits to both.

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Kristen, Dayton Christian Scribes member & writer of Historical Romance; Danisa, her guest, &  me, Pink Collar Coach in Calvin Klein sweater, faux suede skirt, boots, & floral handbag. -TJMaxx.                   Both women are in the process of reading Seasons of Her Soul. ; )

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose author who is continually honing my craft, I will take the constructive criticism and revise the outline to address the issues. Then I’ll take it back to the group next month – 2x! We’re having our regular meeting and an extra one where other local writing groups (including one I used to belong to) are invited to join us. I’m proud to be able to say I’m maturing as a writer – and a person – because rather than finding the prospect of sharing my work in front of additional people daunting, I’m stoked about hearing even more perspectives. Be their feedback of the critical acclaim or the critique kind – I’m ready for it because both are beneficial.

How Pink Collar Savvy & Chic are you about accepting critical acclaim? How about constructive critique? How beneficial do you find them? How can you use both to spur you on to produce your best on the home front or the workplace?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

I’d love it if you would check out my book, Seasons of Her Soul, and provide me with any feedback. A paperback or Kindle copy can be purchased on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9. Thank you!