All right, so mad skills might be pushing it in my case. Perhaps I should say mediocre talent yet rapacious ambition. Less catchy though more fitting.
I mentioned in a previous post ( http://lilliputianjourney.blogspot.com/2010/03/killing-time ) that I wasn't part of a writing group because I'm a loner. While I still consider myself an introvert, I have come to discover that a writing group (when comprised of a few, knowledgeable members) is indispensable! Man, I wish I'd met these ladies a year ago. I could have been finished much sooner. Not to mention the fact that they have become wonderful friends! I admire and appreciate these amazing women more than they'll ever know.
Though it pains me to admit, it was through Twitter that I met my cohorts. I will forever be grateful to my new social networking addiction. Together Italia and Beth (or as I like to call them, Rennie and Chi) have filled in the missing pieces to make me a better writer. They are my yin and yang, so to speak, generously allowing me to serve as the curvy line in the middle, as Chi likes to say. I can only hope that one day I will be as helpful and supportive as they are.
So where does this leave Marketing your mad skills? Do it. Put yourself out there. Get on Twitter (as adverse to the idea as you might be) and search the tags for writers, readers, bloggers, and editors. Throw yourself into every conversation you can find. Stalk the boards! Befriend people as often as possible. You never know when your Chi or Rennie might show up and change your life! Not to mention, a lot of high powered and much needed individuals are on there. Those connections are very helpful when it comes time to start querying. It helps to have ties well before you actually need them, believe me.
I have met such an amazing and *talented* group of people on Twitter and Facebook. People I will never forget and will forever appreciate. People who have supported me and my efforts to become a better writer. People who have never met me yet go out of their way to help. The writing community is a tight-knit group and always open and welcoming to those who share a similar ambition. You will always be able to find someone in the same place you are--struggling to learn--as well as those who have been in your shoes and want to encourage you through the process. Don't worry about your awkwardness. I'm about as socially inept as they come. I think you will find that any writer worth knowing has their own little eccentricities. It's what drives our creative minds. :D
So keep writing. Find a few friends that share your interest and passion for growth. Listen to what others have to say, but think with your own head.
I hope you all find some writerly type group of friends. You're always welcome to be part of mine. Look for us on Twitter. Beth is @kailmeyra She is one of those most brilliant and emotional authors you will ever come across. I love her dearly and I'm so grateful for her favorite words--chuck, restructure, and write with your senses. She has an outstanding eye for voice and structure. You can also catch Beth on her blog. www.thelightofasteria.blogspot.com
You can find Italia on Twitter as @ItaliaTrent Her character and storyline development is insane! More than once, she's solved my dilemmas with her ingenious insight. She's also a fountain of useful information. Listen to her! She knows what she's talking about.