Good afternoon, readers and writers!
After spending a long, harried time getting divorced (beginning around six months ago), I’m (possibly) in a place to continue with my writing focus.
This post’s topic is on my latest excursion into the local writing community. Since I live in the St. Louis area, that would be the SLPA, or St. Louis Publishing Association. Apparently there’s a writing association as well, but I haven’t done anything to dive into that. I should. I might find some friends there. But who knows. I don’t want a thousand requests to read their romantic modern fantasy between werewolves and faeries they created on the Sims.
Not that there isn’t anything to be gained from that. And I’m certain they bring a lot to the table. And I’m certain I’d learn a lot, if only by making a friend.
Now. The Publishing Association is a little different. The focus is on disseminating information on how to get Published, and not so much on how to write. I like this, because I believe writing is an individual thing, and no matter how you do it–NANOWRIMO or twenty years of blood sweat and tears–you can become a great writer by perseverance and hard work (and creativity, at times).
The class I attended was interesting. My day job involves installing services in customers’ houses, and one of these customers was the guest speaker for the class, and that’s how I found out about the whole thing. The class, offered once a month, offers insights toward writing and publishing you might not get elsewhere. The topic of the class I attended was What to Do Before You Write. Or something similar. Two guest speakers, previously published and career writers, spoke on two different sides of publishing: fiction and non-fiction.
Excellent group. Great discussion. While most of the people in this class were first-timers (as I’d assume most would be, given the topic), represented among the listeners/observers were a handful of professional editors, grammarists, book designers, life coaches, graphic artists, indexers, publishers, distributors, and mixed media artists. For anyone interested in such a lineup, I highly recommend doing a little research in local groups.
Smaller towns might need someone like YOU to get something moving. It’d be a great way to collect people, make friendships, and garner motivation toward publishing.
The overwhelming insight given by both (traditionally published) guest speakers is to go self-publishing. The way of traditional publishing is difficult, with very low possibility of success, and very little benefit. I’m not only talking monetary value, but response, collaboration, assistance, advertisement, etc.
What I learned in that class was pretty compelling. While it costs 72 bucks for a full membership, it only cost me ten bucks to walk in and listen to what they had to say. I liked it, enjoyed it, loved the people. I met several, most of which were hardworking, dedicated people with families, day jobs, and personal lives.
Even if you haven’t written anything, please, give a thought to checking your local writing or publishing group out. I guarantee you that you’ll learn a lot, and it might actually compel you to sit down and put your nose to the grindstone.
Questions, comments, insights? Please feel free to leave a note. I’m reaching out to connect to writers, and I’d love to hear about your experiences!