Sunday, July 14, 2013
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.