Reprinted from the WordCraft newsletter on BackWash.
It was late at night. I wandered into a Backwash chat. Had a good time. And I found myself saying “yes.” So, here I am, sending you a newsletter about writing, writers, books, literature, etc. And I have a difficult job to fill the shoes of she who precedes me. I hope I can do that.
What makes me think I can do this? I’ve taught writing for more years than I care to remember. I have published poetry. I read too much. I love words. I live to write.
Writing by nature is a lonely profession. No one sits with you and tells you what to write. You are alone with your thoughts. You sit alone and enter the world you are writing. And nothing frightens an artist (for that’s what you are) more than a blank sheet of paper. Whether you’re a creative writer or a writer of non-fiction, it is your goal to fill that page with words that will move people.
But there comes a time when you have to move out of your own world. You need contacts with other writers, readers who can critically look at your words. For many years not only did I spend time writing but also searched for a group of like-minded people. I was not only isolated by my passion, but by geography. I traveled the 120 miles to Carson City, Nevada, and the members of Ash Canyon Poets nurtured my growing art.
My point? Hie thee to a writers’ group. If you are in an isolated part of the country, search the Internet. There are groups of writers who will welcome you. There are fiction writers, fantasy writers, poets, mystery writers, non-fiction writers out there for you to find.
Also, read. If you are into anthropological fiction, find out what Jean Auel is writing. Who are some of her emulators and what are they writing? If you like lawyer/crime, see what John Grisham is doing now. If you like erotica, check out what is selling at this point in time.
This is enough for now. I do want to extend an invitation to anyone who has questions, suggestions or opinions to contact me. Your ideas are the ideas I build on for my columns and this newsletter.
Until next month, sharpen your pencils, file down your fingernails, and do some writing.