Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hi, My Name’s Carla Swafford and I’m a Bookaholic...ah...Writer

Thankfully, I know I’m not the only one out there that has the problem. I buy books I’m not sure I’ll ever have time to read. Why?

3. I have several friends that write and I really want to read them all.
2. I have a hard time turning down vampires or certain cowboy stories.
1. But the main reason I have so many sitting, waiting for me to read? I rather write my own stories. Then my friends can buy my book one day and place it on their dusty "to be read" bookshelves.

See the picture above? Yep, that’s my most recent ones to read. I have a large bag in my closet with many more. No cameras allowed in there. If you ever saw inside my closet, you would be thankful.

As mentioned in number one above, I love to write. I whine to my critique partner about how slow I write and it’s so true. One day I sat at my computer and wrote three sentences in three hours. One sentence per hour. Geez! Hard to believe I’ve improved.

When I first decided I wanted to write a story and get it published – No, I can’t pretend I was writing for my own entertainment. I’m too much of an extrovert for that. Though I never told a soul what I was doing with paper and pen. Yep, paper and pen! I had an old typewriter but the ink ribbon was dried up. Even years later after I found RWA, I never told anyone besides my husband what I wanted to do. Excuse my rambling...

Finally in the mid-90's I told my sister and my mom what I was trying to do and asked my mom if she would be interested in reading my book. She said, "No! I don’t want to read about what a terrible mother I am!" ::Sigh:: I didn’t have the heart to tell her, she wasn’t in my book.

But my sister was interested, and bless her heart, she read my first vampire novel. She loved it. Of course. She’s my sister. She has to love it. But I have to say, with her sweet encouragement, she gave me the courage to become involved with my local chapter.

Another event helped me make that big step and become active in Southern Magic. The newsletter editor at the time sent out a call for articles and one mentioned was history tidbits. I love history and had tons of research books. In fact, at the time, Barnes and Noble offered me a price cut as a history professor. LOL!

I started writing history articles for the newsletter in November 1999 and stopped October 2005; though I continued preparing Auntie WIP articles through February 2007.

One thing about writing articles and having your name published in the newsletter is that not only does other chapter members recognize your name, but those outside the chapter do too. Did you know for each article you write for the newsletter, the editor will send out through a YAHOO editors’ loop and they in turn might publish your article? When I attended my first regional conference in 2003, I was introduced to a nice lady that told me she recognized my name. It turned out she remembered my name from the History Tidbit articles.

What I’m getting to, yes, I do have a point, is that I’m proud to be a writer and especially a romance writer. So I attend the meetings in the hopes I will learn something new, make new friends, see old ones, and maybe encourage someone else to keep writing.

So if you're proud to be a writer, attend the chapter meetings, write articles for the newsletter, blog with your chapter mates, and keeping writing that story of your heart. I’ve been hard at it for years and I feel better about 2008 than I ever have of any year prior. I want that for you too.

What are your goals this year to show the world that you’re a writer?


Christy Reece said...

Since this year promises to be quite busy, my first goal is to stay sane and healthy.

I have one more book to finish before May. Then anticipate major revisions for at least one of them, if not more.

Also, planning on going to New York sometime late spring to visit my editor and agent. Plus, San Francisco in July!

Other than that, I'd like to write two more books in my series and to stay healthy, start running again.

So, there are my goals. Better go write them down before I forget!

Christy Reece said...

Oh yeah, I'd also like to reduce my TBR stack to below six feet.

MaryF said...

My goals are:
1. Get my webpage up.

Ok, I capped it more for my benefit than anyone else....its a quest now.