Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Virgin Territory

It's 6:30 in the morning, the day after I was scheduled to post to our blog. Somehow I have finally arrived at this page after frantically trying to log-on all day. I am afraid to exit, for fear that I will never again find this page. So, even though I am not mentally prepared to begin my first foray into this technological abyss this early in the morning, I will plug on for the sake of keeping my commitment to my fellow writers and most importantly to myself.

Making the decision to write is a commitment. It is a commitment to our craft, our fellow writers and most of all to ourselves. At its best, writing bares the soul for the world to explore its complexities; and at its worst, leaves us stripped bare of all our defenses for others to examine, critique and dissect. It isn't for sissies or the faint hearted.

Thank goodness that I unwittingly stumbled into the Birmingham chapter of RWA. Here, I have found a special group of kindred spirits who support each other unfailingly, encourage each other no matter what the issue, and celebrate unstintingly each other's successes. They are the life raft of hope sent to those of us who are forging ahead into virgin territory.

My techno mentor, Carla, has never made me feel dumb, or even worse old, as she patiently explains how to do the most basic things. I hope that my learning curve is faster than her patience quota or I am in big trouble. I thank her, my critique partners (you know who you are), and everyone else at Southern Magic. They have supported me on my quest to understand an industry that provides a constant roller coaster ride for our emotions.

I would strongly encourage anyone attempting to become a published writer to follow the path to your local chapter. It is well worth the effort. I am now comfortable saying, "Give me my machete. I have friends who will help me mow down that overgrown path to success!"


Christy Reece said...

Hey Diane, welcome to the blog!

I totally agree about local chapters. Don't know what I would do without the support I receive from Southern Magic. It's made a huge and positive difference in my career.

Writing is a journey of learning, growing and striving for our goals. The friends we make along the way vital to our success.

JoAnn said...

Diane, I agree with everything you and Christy have said. I went MIA from Southern Magic a few years ago when life issues sidelined me. But since I've become active again, I've seen a huge improvement in my writing -- and my attitude. Thank you Southern Magic! (And, Diane -- Thanks for blogging!)

Carla Swafford said...

Oh, my goodness, what a bunch of talented writers on this website. This is another wonderful blog, Diane. And I would say that even if you didn't say such sweet things about me. My patience is limitless for those willing to learn and use their own initiative to go with it. And that's YOU!

And I agree with you, Christy and JoAnn. If not for my local chapter, I would never be at the level of writing I as today. That took be over ten years to understand. How do you say "slow learner." LOL!

Carla Swafford said...

I as today? LOL! I am today, it should read. Too funny that I messed up in that sentence of all places.

Naima said...

Hi, Diane!
As a recent new member, I can't agree with you more about joining the Southern Magic chapter. Before writing has always been solitary (well, except for the little people running around inside my head--characters! I promise I'm not crazy!), but now there's nothing like knowing I have the fellowship of other writers who experience. Its inspiring. I believe joining RWA and Southern Magic was the best decision I made in a long time. Great post!

Naima said...

Okay, I'm with Carla! Don't we have spellcheck on this thing?? LOL! Okay, it should read "...but now there's nothing like knowing I have the fellowship of other writers." What did we ever do before MicroSoft Word and spellcheck?!

Naima said...
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