But what does any of this have to do with you if you don't live in the Midwest? (which by the way ANYONE can be a member of the MWG) I started thinking of my own career of 15 years, which isn't as long as 100 obviously, but it also has had its ups and downs, and I'm currently in some sort of a writing funk. So what can I learn from my weekend of planning with the MWG? Here are a few things:
1. People do still care about books and writing! When the market becomes saturated with authors and new books, it's hard to remember that each writer and each book makes a difference to someone. Even if you are not on the bestsellers list or receiving a movie contract, your book can still touch the lives of your readers. If you have a story in you, write it--no matter what happens with it. Big success is great, but so are the little ones!
2. It's important to take some time to look at what works and what doesn't for me. Just because my writing buddy can sit at the computer on a Sunday and churn out 5000 words doesn't mean I can. I have a beautiful four-year-old daughter and freelance work, so I have to fit in creative writing when I can. I shouldn't get down on myself because I have a self-publishing idea with a friend, but we haven't written a word of it yet. I am making goals and seeing what works for me, and what I need to change, so I shouldn't compare myself with anyone but myself.
3. Whatever makes me feel enthusiastic, stay with it! What project is calling to me at this time? The self-publishing one and another Maggie Mae picture book. I tried to force myself to work on a novel, which I do like, but it just wasn't flowing. It will eventually, and in the mean time, I need to stick with what is working.
Although the MWG conference wasn't a usual one with editors, agents, and workshops, it was still motivating--it was a group of writers, brainstorming together to make a strong, professional, and helpful organization for its members. And it showed me that I can do the same for my own career!
Maggie Mae, Detective Extraordinaire: The Case of the Missing Cookies, to which she wants to write a sequel soon. To check out more about Margo and her two novels, please see her website at http://www.margodill.com or the novel writing classes she teaches for WOW! at http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/WOWclasses.html.
keyboard photo by orangeacid on Flickr.com