~ By Cynthia D’Alba
I love talking with aspiring writers. When I started writing, if only I’d know then what I know now! If you’re reading this, you might be writing romance, but you might be writing mystery, sci-fi, or any of many different genre fiction categories. You know what writing is like. You sit either in front of a computer with your fingers on the keys, or with a paper tablet and a pen in your hand, and you create. You tell a story. It’s you, all alone, writing and creating this tale to entertain others.
Creating a world with its characters and setting is hard work. It take effort to transfer a fictional world from your brain, where it’s alive and colorful, into words to share with others so that they too see your world and watch your characters act out their parts.
I live in the town where I grew up. I have women that I have been friends with since the first grade. And I have eight other women that I have been friends with since seventh grade. Another others since high school. They all work, have families, go to church but none of them are writers. As much as they support me in my writing, they simply don’t have a clue what goes into storytelling. The same is true of my family. None of them “get” it.
Now other writers? They “get” it. They understand the frustration, the depression when things aren’t going well, the elation when it is. Other writers can talk the business, sympathize about royalties and understand that writing a book doesn’t mean you’ll be rolling in the dough.
Writers pass along tips they’ve learned, or industry news and gossip that can help your career. You’ve written a great book and you’ve decided publisher XYZ is a perfect fit, only to hear that XYZ is floundering. Their authors are not being paid on time. Authors are jumping ship. You would never had heard about that from your non-writing friends.
So where do you find all these supportive and helpful fellow authors? For me, it was Romance Writers of America®, aka RWA®. My monthly meeting is like a lifeline for my sanity. I’m in a room with people who get “me” and my work.
If you’re trying to do this (i.e. writing) all alone, stop. Find a group of fellow authors. Go to https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=512. See if there is a chapter near you. Go visit. You’ll find your people there.
No RWA chapter? Look for a genre fiction writers group. They are everywhere. Still can’t find one? Post a note to Twitter or Facebook. There are yahoo groups, Facebook groups, private online writers’ communities. Writer communities can really make a difference in your writing career. Use them. A writer’s life is hard enough. Take any advantage you can.
How have writing groups and organizations like RWA been helpful to you?
I was born and raised in a small Arkansas town. After being gone for a number of years, I’m thrilled to be making my home back in Arkansas living in a vine-covered cottage on the banks of an eight-thousand acre lake. I started writing on a challenge from my husband in 2006 and discovered having imaginary sex with lots of hunky men was fun.
I love to hear from readers and there are lots of ways to find me. Online, you can find me most days at my website, or follow me at Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Goodreads or Pinterest. Or subscribe for my newletter. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To send me snail mail, write to: Cynthia D’Alba PO Box 2116 Hot Springs, AR 71914