After a well-enjoyed holiday break, ORWA hosted our January workshop, Back to the Plotting Board, as a way to encourage us all to get back to the keyboard. We broke into small groups and spent time helping one another with plot challenges, title ideas, and general inspiration.
Some people will tell you that the value of a writing group is in exposure, chances to reach each other’s audiences. Others will tell you that the real value is in networking, finding authors who can help you to reach your career goals. But there’s also a less mercenary reason to join: finding other people who think the way you do.
Wanting a career as an author is daunting. It’s a lot of work, sometimes for little or no return. You’ll face tons of criticism, both professional and fan-based. People will question your choices, your values, and sometimes even your personhood. It’s lonely spending day after day in front of a keyboard, trying to make the words in your head come out on the paper.
But when you find a great group of authors (like the ones at ORWA, though I’ll admit that I’m biased), then you have other voices to add to the negative ones. Voices that tell you to keep trying, that say they’ve been in the same boat. They’ll share some laughter, some comfort, and some suggestions. Then you can go home, energized and ready for the next challenges.
Recap by Jennifer Carole Lewis