Oct 18, 2010

The Company of Writers

This past weekend was busy, but it was also wonderful. Connecting with other writers is the best way to keep my confidence and perspective in tact. It is comforting to know I am not alone.

Neither are you. If you don't have a posse of writer friends [or others reaching for the same goal as you] to talk to, go find some. Only another writer can commiserate on rejection and the frustration of the road to publication. Another writer, who has succeeded on novel #9, is encouraging to another floundering writer like me.

I think it's important to have a plan to keep myself moving forward. Always. When I get a rejection, I send out 2-3 more submissions. And I have my next project lined up. I make sure it's something I'm enthusiastic about. I've been out and about doing research for the novel after this. I keep myself going. So much easier to do when there are others around me who have been where I am and succeeded, or are still where I am and we muddle about together.

Attend workshops, join a writers group, get a critique group together. All of these things are invaluable. They help keep me grounded, encouraged and supported. My reading at the library is also a big boon to me. It's a way to get my work out there while I wait for my break. Wait is the wrong word. Work. While I work for my break. It is certainly a lot of work.

I keep my mind open to learning and improving. No matter how good I may already be, there's always room for improvement. Most times, I'm not aware as to where I need improvement. I only have a vague sense I do. So, I go out and learn and sometimes I hit upon, 'Aha'.

Literary Harvest on Friday night was wonderful. It is a great thing to help nurture other talent and there is nothing like hearing an author read their own work. You get to hear the cadence and rhythm that isn't always picked up on right away when reading. Congrats to the winners. Lindy Jacobs, the Guild's events director, did a fantastic job of putting the event together. We had it at Hitchcock Auditorium this year at the college campus.

Saturday was the workshop given by our keynote speaker from Friday night, Elizabeth Lyon. It was way more than I expected. So much better. So, thanks to Elizabeth for giving me a few more pieces to make my writing all the better. It really was a fantastic and informative workshop. Rich in marvelous nuggets to help writers at any level.

If you have the chance to take a workshop from Elizabeth, I highly recommend it. If not, reading her books is a good substitute. I usually learn best in a lecture type setting.

We all met for dinner Saturday night - Guild friends and new literary friends - and had a marvelous night with good conversation and great company. Lots of talk about writing and books. Then lots of storytelling from our lives. Great fun.

Great timing as I have started revision on my second novel. Now I see I have more prep work to do. It gets me all excited to now have more tools in my arsenal to do the piece justice. Keeps me moving forward. I am not a patient gal - my husband will tell ya. So, I am prone to fits of frustration. Being active in the writing community and planning for these pushes forward are essential to keep me moving.

So, get out there and get involved. Enrich your life. It will enrich your writing or whatever your aim is. The most important thing is to keep an open mind in order to keep growing. And, to be quite stubborn - never give up.

How do you keep yourself moving forward?