Monday, July 04, 2011


For several weeks on my writer's blog I've written about my journey through publishing short stories on Smashwords and my own efforts to format and publish a Kindle book.

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.


Clover Autrey said...

I agree, for an introverted lot, writers are also some of the most generous helpful people I know. There's no jealousy, everyone truly wants to see each other succeed.

It looks like blogspot's follower feed isn't working this week, so I followed you by hitting the follow button up top on the dashboard line. Wierd blogspot.

Velda Brotherton said...

Thanks for the extra try at following. Don't know what was up with that. I've just inserted a code so readers can go from this blog to my writer's blog, and or see the posts in part to see if it's something they want to read. It seems to work, at least the first time.

Betty Craker Henderson said...

I'm too stupid to ever understand it my self so I'll have to leave it to the bright ones to make it work but I'll sure support the e-books. I keep my I-Pad busy already buying them. There is nothing like reading a book and rushing to buy another by the same author that very night or hearing of a new book and not having to wait to go to a bookstore!Sure, I don't give up the traditional kind but there is room for both in my world.