Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Writers Life and Continuing Education

Cougar is always a good distraction when I have no idea what I need to do next.

I always said that if I won the lottery that I would go for my Master’s Degree, maybe even a Doctorate but only if I hit the lottery. Advanced degrees are highly expensive and in the field that I would study: English or Creative Writing, that wouldn’t be the best investment in a sure future that I could make. Why? Because I’m paranoid. I make no bones about holding onto my day job, my security and my sanity. Oh I dream of being a Best Seller but I don’t dream of starving or going into debt in the pursuit of it and my luck...well, I am contributing heartily to my 401K.

So, I pursue my obsession in the best and easiest way I can, I practice writing frequently. Sometimes it’s a daily pursuit; sometimes I skip a few days. I search the internet looking for tips and tools, market trends and promotions opportunities all in homage to this craft that I love, writing. Putting words together to weave a tale, sculpting words to make visions and inspire emotions. Obsessions… Who needs classes on being a writer? There’s the library, the internet, lots of books that you can read independently.

I will tell you that to me being published is almost the same as having a certificate of higher learning. Of course it isn’t but still…it’s pretty damn close. However…I am currently sitting at my desk after having finished my morning word count, and I find myself thinking, self you really should be doing something more, for instance:

• Isn’t there a book you should be promoting

• Isn’t there an Outline you should be revising

• Shouldn’t you research a few sci fi publishers for that current WIP you are working on

• Your grammar and mechanics skills are rusty, look up some books to work on that

• Don’t you have a newsletter that is late

• Why are you working on a SF work when most of your ‘brand’ is Paranormal

• Shouldn’t you do some updates to your writers expense report

• How about a plan to get a few short stories and novellas onto Amazon to get more name recognition

Yeah so those are only at the tip of the iceburg, before the headaches start. I have been writing for a while (a long while) now and while I don’t regret signing up for continuing education at a University, I swear I regret thinking that diligence and tenacity were all that I needed.

I’m a writer and some say that I am prone to be introverted but I say that I’m an introvert that happens to write. It has occurred to me that much of the confusion, frustration and ignorance that I have about my writing habit is because I had purposefully considered only one thing, the act of the craft while turning a blind eye on the one thing I could use. Socialization. Active learning. Cranking it out is important sure but I am certainly not prolific enough to have an agent, handler or promo team to allow me to just...crank it out.

I bet writer’s conventions, seminars and workshops have educational tracts that I could benefit from, tips and information that could relieve some of the anxiety I have as a writer, that could bolster the strength of my prose, my brand and maybe even the way I market myself… because although some might believe that all you have to do as a writer is to write….They would be soo wrong.

I have a FB page that I devote to Author Tools. I call it the Author’s Bar, because from the few conventions that I have attended many introvert authors seem to conspire there, myself included, to tap that Dutch Courage needed to socialize. Have I been attending the wrong cons? Possibly. Do I socialize with authors there? No. Am I uncomfortable with parties and costumes and swag showers? Kinda yeah. And to be perfectly dour, I find myself longing for lecture rooms and group circles where text is torn apart both for content and context, where trends are explained with flow charts and attack plans are detailed for success. But the amount of author gatherings with classroom formats are few and far between. (If I am wrong, please post some links to the bar)

Why, I wonder when writing is a very serious and ever changing profession. Sure I am a decent self-learner and I make my word counts, but in other areas I find myself doubtful.

I’m not writing this blog to influence a writer into conventions or higher learning, but simply to reveal what I am searching for and hope one day to find. So, if you know of an event that could benefit me or person’s like me, by all means use that comment box.

No comments: