This trip has taken me to some fascinating sites online and hooked me up with some very talented people. And it's reinforced something I've known since the first day I attended a writer's gathering some 28 years ago. Writers are some of the most generous people in the professional world.
Most don't consider new writers as competition, but rather as welcome additions to their world. They believe, as I do, that the more good books that are out there, the more readers will want to read, so rather than turning their backs on beginners, they nurture them. There has been no end to the people who have helped me during this long and exciting journey. And I will continue to "pay it forward" in every way I can.
Every time I've stumbled, a writer has helped me up. With ever rejection others supported me. When I couldn't get past a failed plot point, others have helped me brainstorm and find my way out.
Since 1985 I've been a part of a critique group that has grown and adapted over the years. Unlike most groups, we meet every week and we critique work brought in by novices and advanced writers alike. And over the years, through attending conferences and eventually organizing a yearly conference of our own, writers from our group have been published. Some remain in the group to help with the newcomers, others go their way. And that's fine. Two of us remain of the original group, and we keep things together. We're proud of our successes and continue to support those who stumble and fall.
Today we face an enormous change in the publishing world. Where the e book eruption will take us is anyone's guess. A few of our group's writers are embracing this new trend and we all celebrate their publications in the world of the e book. Only last month one writer had two books and a novella accepted by The Wild Rose Press, a prestigious e publisher. Many are eager to give Kindle a try, so we may do something on that at our next conference. Or perhaps a workshop will be formed to lead those eager pioneers through the tough paces.
If you are a writer without a group, think of forming one yourself. We began with five or six in those long ago years, and we felt our way through the maze of learning our craft, promotion, building a platform, and pitching our work. When one could attend a conference, they returned to share copious notes and handouts with everyone. Often four or five of us would share a room just so we could afford to attend a long weekend conference. I recall once one of the gals had a chance to rent an RV parked near where a writer's conference was held. Five of us spent two night there and enjoyed meeting with other writers we never would've met otherwise. You could do that.
Next week, I'll post some suggestions on how to form a writer's group or critique group and keep it going despite the problems that can arise.