Technology today both enables us and lifts us to new levels of communication and education. Living overseas I’ve learned to hold a higher regard for technology and I’m not talking online gaming or dating (I’m happily married.) As a writer you don’t have to live overseas to feel disconnected from the world. It’s tempting to stay put in your chair pounding away or sometimes simply staring at the words on the computer screen.
Writers need to get out. I was fortunate to live in Houston and benefit from fantastic writing groups such as West Houston RWA. But I don’t have to miss such connections by living in Saudi Arabia. The World Wide Web gives us many options to network and learn from writers and industry experts. For example there’s WANA Con, which started yesterday. I’m ready and waiting at my laptop anxious to learn from industry experts such as Kristen Lamb, J. E. Fishman, David Corbett and many more. And as always, I’m sure I’ll meet some friendly fellow writers in the online “lobby.”
Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) is also just around the corner in November. Their online resource is a great way to support and network with writers no matter where you live. It’s getting easier and easier to burst through your writing prompts and get “in front” of writers and like minded people.
Many literary greats didn’t have the luxury of such modern technology. Shakespeare didn’t have Twitter. Sometimes I wonder if they had it better because they didn’t have such distractions. They were writers. Today a writer has to be so much more. We need some social media presence, a website, etc. However, there has never been a better time to be a writer. I truly believe this.
Let’s face it. Writers need support. I was recently rejected from an agent who I really liked because she is no longer taking on YA fantasy projects. Sure she liked my story, which is always nice to hear but still this wasn’t the news I hoped for. It’s weeks like this when I lean on my writing friends.
Writers can also branch out of their comfort zones through writing contests offered online. Every year I enter the Emily contest. It’s always a professionally handled contest that offers helpful and positive feedback. And of course I didn’t let my International status stop me this year!
So no matter where you live. If you write then get out there. Find those workshops, conferences, contests and networks. Join online chapters, follow writers on Facebook and Twitter. Make friends with fellow writers. Whatever you do just get out there. It makes the up and downs of this profession easier to manage.
Is anyone else attending WANA Con? Be sure to “wave” to me in the lobby or classrooms!