Writing is by nature a solitary profession and more than occasionally frustrating. This is especially true when it comes to marketing yourself as a writer, pitching a book proposal or article or promoting something you've already published.
A network like this is a great place for writers to hang out and exchange information, tips and generally rub elbows with other writers. I's often said that misery loves company but, just being part of a supportive network might in fact make one somewhat less miserable.
I've written for business purposes for many years. As a rule what I wrote wasn't the kind of prose that was creatively satisfying. The challenges of the writing were still very much present but it didn't get the creative juices flowing. The writing I did usually involved raising money for a specific project and I was constrained within the limits of the projects defining characteristics. Some of what I wrote was related to marketing which did allow for more creative freedom, but not much.
Some years ago I owned an operated a Day Care with a partner. Back then I often wrote original children's stories for use in our center. This was a terrific learning experience because I received immediate feedback from my audience. A group of preschoolers offers a brutally honest critique and immediate response to your work. If you don't engage them and hold their attention the end result is less than pretty. You quickly discover if you have what it takes to be a writer when you write for 5 year olds.
Perhaps the greatest satisifaction I've had, from a creative perspective, was the response I had to my children's stories.
It was very gratifying when a child told a a parent about a story. It was seeing the response from my tiny audience that helped me understand what drew me to writing.
I've written a ton of material since those days long ago, but few things have given me the tremendous satisifaction of writing for those kids.
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