Although I began writing novels and attending Creative Writing groups in 2009, it wasn’t until this year that I brought my writing career into focus.
I attend a local monthly meetup, which gives me ample opportunity to sound off, discuss the processes and share work with others.
But I wanted to do more. I want to connect with more writers than 3 poets in my area.
When a writer on twitter, Jo told me about the World Fantasy Convention being in England this year, things fell into place in my mind. The fact that it’s being held in Brighton, just 20 miles away from where I live, made the decision for me.
“The only other times that the World Fantasy Convention has moved outside North America was in 1988 and 1997, when the event was held in London.” ~ WFC2013 website.
When I told my friend Sorcha, she also bought a membership. So in October-November, we’ll spend four days with other writers, agents and publishers – listening to talks and chatting about our work. And because we used to live together, I’ll also get to hang out with her and we can discuss books!
With this event booked in our diaries, I began searching for others – especially any before the convention. Back in July, Sorcha rang me to ask if I wanted to come with her to a Novel in a Day workshop in Suffolk. She said there were only 2-3 spaces left, and that I could stay with her.
So in early October, I’ll be attending that too.
Writers are often stereotyped as being introverted types, who may stay indoors to write – without human contact for a couple of weeks and not realise.
That’s certainly true for me.
So having events to attend that force me to leave the house, especially like the Suffolk one – where I’ve had to take two days off work, will take three trains and a bus, then stay in a friends house with new scenery and inspiration, and then the journeys to and from the place and then home again – they force me to break free of the “writing is a lonely task” idea.
I have to leave the house, get to meet new people, learn things about myself and my writing, and in terms of the convention, will actually get to enjoy a fairly rare experience.
And this is important – because I’ve spent the past three years thinking of my writing as a hobby.
This year, that changed. My “who I am” spiel now includes “I also write novels.” Which also meant “I not stay indoors and write” became true for me.
I work full time in the Social Care field. I see and hear things most people only see on television or in newspapers. I have a degree that relates nothing to my job or any job I’d ever want to do.
But I know where I want to end up.
And unless I get out there and experience other writers, and learn new skills, I won’t move forward.
So here’s to progress.