It’s always useful to hear what other authors have to say. Whether it’s a group of as-yet-unpublished authors in a local writing group, or a world-famous author giving a talk, you will always take something away from it.
When I wrote alone, it was if I was in a vacuum. I was convinced that other authors knew all the tricks to getting published, or building tension, or overcoming writing blocks, and I was missing something.
I started going to ‘Author’s Talking’ groups at my local library, where authors came and basically, talked. I went to author events at local bookshops, I joined a writing group. And I discovered that every author does it differently.
Some talked about how they had to fight writer’s block, some said it did not exist. Some planned every paragraph of their book, some made it up as they went along. Some loved genre, some said genre was pointless.
All of them, every writer I have ever met, professional and amateur had a lot to share about writing. All of it was fascinating.
Some of what other writers say to you, however, you will feel is just plain wrong. You can’t plan a book like that, you say, you cannot write that way, you think.
The point is not to believe and follow everything they say and do. Some of what they think will not work for you. Some of it will. But everytime there will be at least one golden nugget of information to take away with you. Whether it’s practical information about publication, a guide to how to write day after day, or even encouragement, they will tell you something invaluable.
No-one else, not printers, not editors, not readers, understand how an author’s mind works except other authors. No-one else will really understand how they think, what worries them, what they need to know. At every opportunity you get, listen or read or watch what other authors have to say about writing. I promise you, you will learn something.