Writers Turn to the Internet for Support, Friendship and Advice

by : Patricia Gatto

Riding on the fumes of potential, you take pen to paper or keyboard to monitor. Endless hours of creativity intermingle with apprehension, but your need to write engulfs your spirit. You swim high on the waves of excitement and trudge forward through the waves of doubt. Finally, your manuscript is complete.

Looking back, the process becomes a blur, it's difficult to recall the point at which your first draft transformed into your final draft, but it happened. For a moment, you allow yourself to be still and bask in the glory of your completed manuscript. But only for a moment. Now a new process must begin.

As if going from concept to page isn't enough, the aspiring writer must now bravely pass his or her cherished manuscript along for opinion. Opinion is actually too light of a word; the writer must submit to, and endure the critique. For those faint at heart, the critique can be a frightening experience, rearing its ugly head of self-doubt to the highest position. But ultimately, it's what makes you stronger, better at your craft, and prepares you to for the next phase on your quest to publication.

Family and friends only hinder the critique process. Although supportive, their opinions are bias and counter productive unless they are professionals. So where do you turn if you are not fortunate enough to have a local writing group or personal mentor in your life? The modern writer turns to the cyber world.

As you make your way through search engines and dodge pop-ups ads in pursuit of an answer, message boards and writer's forums abound. Your ultimate goal, to find that band of brothers and sisters, bound together in their somewhat solitary pursuit of a writing career. A nameless group of competitors hooked together by modems, monitors, keyboards, nicknames, and electricity, generously willing to share advice. A group you can trust.

I have found such a writer's haven. A speakeasy filled with poets and prophets, editors, agents and journalists. A space where the published and unpublished exist together. By invitation only, I secretly found the backdoor into this cyber club. Over two hundred members and growing strong, this forum has everything from professional guest visitors to idle chatter. A place to receive feedback on your work, ask questions, share information, make contacts, friendships and share your successes and defeats.

Now that the secret code to this cyber club has been lifted, Backspace - The Writer's Place is open to the public. Why not click open the door and lurk for awhile? After you get to know the posters, reach out for some feedback on your work. Then you can move to the next phase with confidence. For after the dreaded critique process, you must endure another hurdle, the query letter. Why not tackle it with the help of your new cyber friends at Backspace? http://www.bksp.org/index.shtm