Getting Together With Other Writers by Allison Symes
Image Credits: Images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos.
It has been a busy summer. I’ve recently returned from my annual trip to the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. Back in June, it was a joy to get together with other writers at the Worth Our Weight in Gold ACW Golden Jubilee weekend. Both were at the same venue - The Hayes, Swanwick.
I’m keen to learn from the workshops (and when I run them, I hope people learn from those!). But I’m equally keen to chat with other writers. I’ve picked up so much useful advice over the years talking with other authors over a well earned cup of tea. I lost my fear of networking on realizing it meant chatting about something I love - writing - with someone else who understands that love - another writer.
The other positive thing here is no one writer can know it all and in chatting to others, you may well pick up something useful for your own future use. Sometimes it can be a case of a tip being useful to you much later on.
The other lovely thing here is you do have an instant topic of conversation and that is a great ice breaker. It has been at workshops I’ve found out about things like Writing Magazine, the Society of Authors, and so on. And it is other writers who will share tips you probably wouldn’t get in other ways (or at least not so immediately).
Writers as a group inspire and encourage one another. We all need that. There is nobody like another writer to understand the lows of rejections/not hearing back from a competition or publisher. And sometimes it is that writer who tells you about a publisher/competition you’ve not heard of yet you know at once this could be a good “shoe-in” for your work.
Also most of the time, we are alone at our desks. It does us good to engage with other writers. I’ve had fascinating conversations with authors who work in fields different to my own but I love hearing about their passion for what they do. It helps re-enthuse me for what I do.
So when you get to go to a workshop, as well as taking notebook and pen or a laptop, take along a willingness to engage with others. As well as helping them, you will learn too. Where you can’t go in person, use online events. Those have been a lifeline for me in the last couple of years. I’m sure they’ll continue to be too.
So yes, we need to write. We need to engage with others too. Workshops are a great way of combining the two things.
What a lovely post and thank you! This comes in very handy as I hope to attend the British Christian Writers Conference on September 3rd. Is taking a laptop really necessary? Thanks for all the tips. Blessings.ReplyDelete
Many thanks, Sophia. I needed a laptop for Swanwick as I was running a workshop there but I often just go to conferences with notebooks and pens. It's entirely up to you. If you do take the laptop though, don't forget your charger (too easily done that!).Delete
I always go armed with a notebook and at least 2 pens, but only take my laptop if I have to do some work. I totally agree with this, Allison. Meeting up with other writers is gold dust! It's been one of the most wonderful things for me since becoming a writer. Looking forward to meeting you next Saturday, Sophia.ReplyDelete
Many thanks, Ruth. I've learned so much from meeting other writers. Hope next Saturday's event goes well.Delete
I so enjoyed WOWIG for this exact reason. Much of my life is meeting new people, and it can be exhausting as well as enjoyable, but to have a common thread to start a conversation makes such a difference. I loved putting faces to names I'd only seen on ACW Facebook threads until then. I'm just sorry there wasn't more time to chat with more lovely, talented people.ReplyDelete
Many thanks, Jenny. It's amazing how quickly time goes at these events. Still you can always look forward to meeting again (and new people) at the next event!Delete
A very helpful and honest post, Allison. Thank you. And I echo what you say about online events. For those of us who continue to be told by our health professionals not to mix indoors, these events are a real blessing. And what a good point that (sharing about) our writing can be an ice-breaker when we encounter new folk who are also writers.ReplyDelete
Many thanks, Caroline. I remember being a very shy newbie writer and it was on realising there was an instant topic of conversation that broke the ice for me. We can help that along for other newbie writers too.Delete
So true. Meeting with and talking to other writers is always a tonic and an encouragement to keep going because you're not the only one struggling away!ReplyDelete
So true. We writers need eachother. Conferences are such a great way to connect.ReplyDelete
They're good fun too, Deborah!Delete
I could not have survived the pandemic without my online.writers group. The fellowship, support and good humour really helped me keep writing during 20/21.ReplyDelete