Thank you Ninja Writers for giving me a clear focus on where I wanted to go with my writing.
Writing is a lonely activity. I sit at my desk; just my computer and me — and my Dr. Pepper. Sometimes it’s a mug of coffee that’s my only friend. Then the words are flowing out, filling chapter after chapter. But where were they going? I had no guide. I knew I wanted to write books. You know me — Danielle Steel wanna be. I was feeling lost. I had no path. A novel is more than x number of words with a title and chapters.
Then one day I joined a webinar hosted by Auto-Crit. They were going to have a special guest, someone named Shaunta Grimes. I’d never heard of her, but something piqued my interest. So I registered.
Webinar day came, and I’m there completely enraptured by what this Shaunta person was saying. I don’t remember exactly what she said except she talked about this club that she owns for writers — both new and experienced. I went to the site mentioned and signed up for her newsletter.
A day or three later, I get an email from her saying “Hey have this call, everyone is invited.” I joined. I wish I could remember what the focus of the call was, but I don’t. During the call, either Shaunta or a lady named Meg mentioned this platform called Medium. I asked what a medium was. They explained that Medium is a blogging platform. I looked and signed up.
A month or two goes by. I’ve now joined at the club level of this thing called Ninja Writers. I’m going to every call I can make. Shaunta is very patient with me and answers my questions and really gets to know me and my story. Even with 20–30 other people on the call.
I was still in college, and the final project for my writing class was coming up. “Write a short story.” I was really struggling with this concept, so I joined the Tuesday night fiction co-working call. I gave the standard “trigger warning” about the piece I was going to read, then read a small portion.
Everyone went around and gave me excellent feedback. I took their suggestions and came back the next week. Read it again. Got more feedback. I ended up getting like 5–7 points shy of a perfect score on that assignment.
It’s through the Ninja Writers that I’ve learned almost everything I’ve learned on this writing journey. They are the ones who take the time to get to know my story, give me suggestions, and help me in any way I need. Shaunta has always patiently answered my questions, no matter how silly I thought they were.
In November 2020, the Ninja Writer’s Academy opened up. That’s an exclusive level of membership where writers get extra one-on-one support. There were 20 spots open as there is a hard cap of 100 students. I joined as quickly as I could.