It’s About Damn Time

What’s the big idea? It’s a blog post, sheesh, get with it already.

So here we are in October, and my 30th is just around the corner. What a trip man. 30! Unbelievable. But more on that later.

"Go away, go away, go away, go away..."
“Go away, go away, go away, go away…”

I’m signed up for a few writer’s groups here in San Diego. It’s a basic must for any of you aspiring writers out there. Sign up, get out, and be a part of the community. I know, I know, you like your pyjamas and Netflix and your oh-so-cosy writing chair and the outside world is full of mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers who’d sooner use a book as a beer coaster than open it up. You’d rather sit in your ivory tower and contemplate from a distance, a misanthropic curmudgeon who spurns the slovenly masses and their pedestrian ways.

Whew, that was fun to write.

In any case, if that sounds like you, then that’s because I’m writing from first hand experience. I hate leaving the safety of my apartment for anything less than pristine wilderness and utter silence, neither of which is found on the busy intersection outside my door. Writing is a solitary act, and should be done in solitude, and without the prying eyes and unwelcome advice of not-so-helpful onlookers.

Well, yes and no.

Unfortunately for you, dear writer, you’ve chosen a profession whose bread and butter depends on pleasing other people. How well you do that determines the distance you can put between yourself and your adoring hordes of fans. Make it big, and you can set yourself up pretty in a remote cabin by a lake without another soul around for miles. That’s my plan, anyways.

"So it's got Wi-Fi, right?"
“So it’s got Wi-Fi, right?”

So my short-term strategy, before securing the idyllic hideaway in the rustic sylvan glade, is to meet with other writers and authors and agents and get an idea about what’s out there and how to get my stuff onto the book shelf so it can start flying off again.

To that end, I’ve submitted my query letter to a competition here in San Diego. Esteemed author and editor Chuck Sambuchino is coming to town, and will be hosting a little get together where he’ll meet with authors and writers like myself, and judge and critique our query letters. The man has written at least 21 books that I can count, and is the biggest authority on getting your book published as anyone you’ll ever find. If that weren’t exciting enough, I’m attending a writing workshop conference on Friday, where I’ll get to meet with even more agents and writers and sit through a few instructional group sessions on how to improve query letters, synopses, and even my next novel.

It’s seriously a great opportunity, and I’ll grudgingly admit, one of the perks of living in a big city. They wouldn’t bring this show to my cabin on Lake Wannahockaloogie.

the original social networking: a litre of gin and a bevy of soiled Cuban doves
the original social networking: a litre of gin and a bevy of soiled Cuban doves

But even if you live in the boondocks, there’s no reason you can’t connect with other writers. Chances are, there are writing groups in your community, even at your local library, and meeting with other writers is one of the best ways to motivate yourself and get busy on your own work. And if there aren’t any physical groups, the internet is a wild and wonderful place friend, and I’m sure you’ll find a community you can get involved with online. You owe it to yourself, and your readers, to get a second opinion, and despite what Hemingway said, other authors are your best resource for learning how to improve your brilliant manuscript.

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