Debbie Kahl – YA & Children's Fiction Writer

I’m lazy. And I’m the first to admit it. I have absolutely no self-motivation whatsoever. Unless I’m bored and there’s nothing else around to distract me, and even then I might only consider focusing on the task at hand. I am the queen of procrastination. I have to set rewards for myself to do anything, especially when I write. 50 words = a chocolate, 100 words = a soft drink – and so on, and so forth. You get the idea I’m sure.

Which is why, for me, I need a writer’s group. I need homework. I need people checking up on me, challenging me, making me achieve my goals. I won’t do it myself. It’s sad but true. When left alone, I will happily spend my spare time shopping (in stores or online), reading, watching TV, eating out, socialising – anything but what I’m supposed to be doing.

And before anyone suggests bum glue, I have it – I really do. I just find other things to do when I’m on the computer. Powerpoints for work, shopping online, searching random facts on the net about anything not writing related. I’m lazy. And I’m happy being lazy. It’s just as simple as that. The only time I’m not lazy is when I have deadlines to meet. And when I’m travelling; because then I never, ever sleep. But that’s a whole other story, for another time …

So, this is why I’m here blogging right now about the importance of me being in a writer’s group. I’m actually in two (soon to be three) – one for adults, one for YAKs (YA and Kids writing).  They force you to step outside of your comfort zone, by pushing you to develop your writing in ways you’ve never even considered. They also provide critical feedback on your writing, which is exactly what you need sometimes to help you put that evil jigsaw, sorry story, together. And they share your successes and support you through the rejections (which sadly, let’s face it, is more common in the writing world.)

I’m blessed to have such gorgeous friends and colleagues in these groups. I am thankful for each and every one of them. My chapter book Bitter Besties, which recently won the unpublished CYA Competition, would not be where it is without the invaluable feedback of these wonderful writers. Sure, it still needs work and it is nowhere near publication at this stage but I trust the opinions of these friends and know their constructive feedback can only enhance my writing. it certainly did with BB. I can only hope other writers are as lucky with their writer’s groups as I am with mine.

Til next time, happy writing! 🙂

The YAK girls volunteering at CYA – Me, Penny & Ally.


et cetera