Jayne Rylon came to speak to us, and she gave us a TON of information. Which, I'm going to have to review the notes and process. She also showed us how to look at this stuff from a business stand point. Finding all ways to market all facets of your product and your skill set. I've touched on this idea a little in my own business, but never to the depth I was taking the magnifying glass to it yesterday.
Seriously, if your chapter has room in their budget and schedule, consider bringing in Jayne Rylon.
But for me the most interesting conversations always happen after. After meetings, after panels...just after. And one thing yesterday struck me as damn significant.
A lot of us have a similar story of why we started writing, and why we finally took the step toward having someone else read our books. There was one person we respected who told us to get off our ass and get started at a time when we were ready to hear that message.
For me, I'm dense, and had to have a few people tell me. So my push came from Mary Hughes, Lexi Blake, and Shayla Black. Trust me there were many many more who helped me a long the way, but Mary Hughes told me outright that I was ready. And Lexi and Shayla looked me in the eye and told me to do it.
I hope I have given an author or two the shove to take a chance. Because even at our meeting, one woman (who I'm not naming because I don't know how she'd feel about me sharing) said that Jayne was the reason she finally got off her butt and got started on her career in writing. Jayne looked at me and said, "I just told her she could do it."
And I realized, that's all some of us need. We need someone we respect, and someone who has been there to say, "Get off your ass and get started."
I put off joining RWA for the first few years, because I had my support system through other outlets. Why did I finally join? Because deep down, I'm hoping I can be someone's push story. I want to be honest and open and be able to tell someone, "You can."
If you haven't found your inspiration or your push person yet, I have a writing bucket list for you.
1. Join a book club and talk only about books. Not your writing. Learn what people are reading. Meet any authors you can. Learn.
2. Write some fan mail. Tell authors why they are awesome and what you love about their books. Some may write back. Some might not. But putting that good energy out in the universe is the point.
3. Attend a conference. There are tons of reader conferences all over the place. Some writer cons too, but go to a reader con. Fangirl. Enjoy yourself. If there is author stuff too...awesome. But catch the joy from the readers.
4. Join an organization. I'm not saying it has to be RWA. Just find your tribe. Maybe there is a writing group at your library. Maybe there is an online forum of writers that tends to work at the same time you do you can do writing sprints with. Actively search out a way to connect with people on a regular basis.
Do you have a "You Can" story? Who gave you that push? Or if you're still waiting to check published author off your bucket list, what are you doing to find your push? I'd love to hear your story in the comments.