Sunday, May 11, 2008

Interacting in Person with Other Writers

When I joined American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) in late 2006, I discovered a local group of Christian fiction writers that meets once a month at a coffer shop near downtown Nashville. Since then, I haven’t missed a meeting unless I was out of town. Almost always the meetings are a highlight of my month.

Yesterday’s, on May 10, was no exception. We have four published authors in our group and another who has one contract and two more in the works. She also has an M.A. degree in Creative Writing. Often we choose a topic, and she puts together a great lesson on it. We learn from all these authors, both formally or informally. Yesterday we had a first-timer visitor, and all of us profited from the questions she asked.

I was especially encouraged in my personal writing journey. I brought some questions with me, passages I had struggled with, and found out I was on the right track. I was confirmed in the fact that I am experienced enough a writer that it will be fine for me take exactly the workshops I’ve picked out to sit in on at the Minneapolis conference this fall, even two that are third level (out of five levels). I was affirmed for being serious about “studying my craft.”

I’ve been struggling lately with motivation and the ability to really stick to the task. After all, I’m into my fourth year of trying to bring this story up to the standards of today’s writing styles. It is natural sometimes to wonder if I will ever finish and if it is worth the effort (not to mention the time). Yesterday’s meeting helped refresh my conviction that I will and it is.

Last week I had a sort of epiphany—a sudden realization of a another major change I need to make. This will involve completely rewriting three chapters. No, I don’t have to change information in the chapters; I just have to change the principle characters and thus the perspective. It’s another case of what I mentioned earlier—getting Sharon as my main character more directly involved in what happens in the story. I'll tell you more about it when I get at least one of them done.

Yesterday’s meeting, over all and including simply being with other writers, refreshed my vision for getting those chapters rewritten and continuing to plug away at the revisions.

1 comment:

Trekker said...

Esther I am so thankful that you found this writers group in Nashville. They sure do seem to be so helpful and encouraging for you.
I know how great it is to meet with people who understand what you are going through. The very best to you as you polish what you have written.