Share your Story: Your A-Gang

When Damon Suede came to talk at our January meeting about Bringing your A Game, one of the things he mentioned was finding your A-Gang; a group of allies who will navigate the crazy world of publishing with you. An A-Gang can be comprised of all sorts people, genres, and levels, who will help elevate your craft, challenge your habits, and inspire you to take smart risks.

Ever since that talk, I’ve been giving my own A-Game a lot of thought. Where would I find these peers? Would I find a crew I mesh with? Do I have anything to offer? What the heck am I doing?! Where is the wine?!

Then I realized, I already had my A-Gang. Ever since I joined my RWA chapter, I managed to find a group of authors who have done just that! And believe me, my writing (and my risk taking) have changed for the better.

Even if they don’t know it, these awesome writers have been inspiring and encouraging me for the last two years of this adventure. Without them, I’d still be timidly typing on my laptop in the dark, showing my work to absolutely no one. Now, with this amazing circle of encouragement and, on occasion, a swift kick in the pants, I feel like I can weather the storm and get to the next level of my career.

Also, it goes both ways. I love sending words of encouragement to my A-Gang. It makes me smile when someone comes to me for my opinion. And when I see one of my gang win an award or sign an amazing publishing deal, I feel the victory is not just for them, but for all of us.
So share your story in the comments! Do you have an A-Gang? How have they helped you on your path? What is the best part of having that A-Gang on your side?

1 thought on “Share your Story: Your A-Gang”

  1. Julieta Q. AndersonJulieta Q. Anderson

    Last year life threw me a few curveballs that included the death of a friend and a difficult work-year. Writing brings me balance, and it was lacking. I couldn’t write anything. By the end of the year, in an effort to fight the emptiness and darkness inside my own mind, I willed to face depression and punch it in the face. So I joined a read and critique group. The writers in this group are so amazingly skilled! I felt like an impostor, yet so lucky they had accepted me into their group. I only have one published novel and was hoping to release a second one. I sent the first few chapters to my group and BAM! All the obstacles I couldn’t get around until then were released one by one, like knots. My fellow writers not only pointed out what I had done well but, most importantly, what I hadn’t and also what was missing. Better yet! they told me WHY certain things didn’t work. Like a golden key, these critical comments, straightforward and as harsh as they needed to come, unlocked my brain. As a result, my story is coming along beautifully. I now know why they say ‘Editing is where the craft happens, the real art.’ This is my tenth round of edits or so, and for the first time, I am so excited to be working on these re-writes. My story is a million times better, hotter, sexier and it is finally approaching my own standards of what is good! I feel so lucky. These writers are my A team. They rescued me from getting stuck and they helped me find the will to do the work and find inspiration despite what life may throw my way. I am blessed. Happy. Grateful. Writers keep writers going forward!!

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