Postage, Critiques, and More

Sigh. I’m sure all you writers out there have heard by now, but I just received another reminder that postage is increasing in May. A first class stamp will cost 42 cents and postcard stamps are also going up one cent. If you’re in the process of sending out submissions with SASEs, be sure to put 42 cents worth of stamps on your SASEs so you’ll get your reply.

On another note, critiques are awesome. Not only receiving them so you can make your work the best it can be, but giving them as well. I’ve learned more about writing through giving and receiving critiques than any other method. Yes, books and articles are great and I wouldn’t do without them, but the critiques offer a practical application of the things discussed in those books and articles. Plus, it just plain feels good to help another writer with their work. The encouraging comments from a critiquing buddy have helped me get past more than one what-makes-me-think-I-can-be-a-writer moment. Yes, I’d get past it on my own eventually, but knowing someone else likes what I write helps so much! I’m sure many of you have wondered if anyone else would like your story or if you’re the only one who thinks it’s any good. That feeling is one reason I love critique groups. They can tell me if I’m way off on where the story should be, if the plot needs a bit of tweaking, if I need to just completely shelve the project until I do more research, or if it’s a good story capable of being sold somewhere.

Now, for the completely unrelated topic of autism. Of course, autism is related to everything in my world, but that’s another post. Check out this article in the March issue of Wired. Finally, people are catching on that autism means different, not diseased. Plus, (just to make this a little writing-related) the way this article is written gives a ton of information in a conversational tone. That’s the way I want to write articles when I grow up (as a writer).

So, visit your post office to stock up on Forever stamps (they’re worth whatever the rate is when you use them), find a good critique group or partner, and learn a little about the truth of autism. Oh, and happy writing!

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