Sunday, July 14, 2013

Going Coastal

When this blog goes online I'll be on the Oregon coast spending time with some of the best people I know--other writers. This particular group is all over the genre spectrum.

For an entire week, we will be learning and sharing our experience with the amazing opportunities independent authors now have in this new publishing arena.  This is a group of writers who have been publishing for a number of years.  Some, like me, started young in fiction and short stories, and then went on hiatus for awhile pursuing another career and writing non-fiction before returning to their first love.  Others in the group had the fortitude to start young and kept with it through thick and thin.  For their efforts, they have now published more than 100 books over a 30 year period.  Then there are a lot of writers in-between with 5, 10, 20 novels, or perhaps hundreds of short stories instead of pursuing the longer form of fiction.

The most important aspect of these writers is that they have been consistently writing.  Whether it was one book a year or five books a year, they kept with it. It didn't matter if they worked 40 hours a week, they were still committed to writing. Some of them I've known since the 1980's, others only in the past decade, and a few I will meet for the first time.  For those I've known awhile, I've watched them continue writing through marriages, divorces, sickness, triumphs and tragedies with children, and the changing publishing market.  They are all a model of consistently writing, no matter what life threw them.  To me that is the mark of a professional writer--someone who has decided this is a career. Someone who has taken responsibility for meeting deadlines--even if they are self-imposed. Someone who knows and understands we write not only to entertain or to tell a story that holds some truth for us, but also as a career.

Because writers tend to ply their trade in isolation, we really value time together.  I belong to a number of writer organizations. Some have monthly meetings, like my Romance Writer's of America chapter.  Others meet only online, or have group email offerings.  But it is rare that I get to spend an entire week in the company of a diverse group of writers that I admire and trust. It is truly a gift I cherish.


Paty Jager said...

I agree. Getting together with other writers who understand the voices in our head and the struggles we go through to produce a book is always inspirational to me and gets me jazzed to continue what I'm doing. Have fun!

jamie said...

Look forward to hearing all about your week when you return.

Susan said...

We'll expect a full report :D

Maggie Faire said...

It was amazing, astounding, and humbling. Then followed by my parents 60th anniversary party. Anyone who can remain married for 60 years tot he same person is a miracle worker. Add in 9 kids and it's a miracle of amazing proportions.

Will report to those who wish to know soon.

Danita Cahill said...

Chiming in late - it sounds like you had a wonderful time, Maggie. And thanks for sharing some of what you gleaned from the weekend.