2014-05-18

Writer's Retreat

Peacekeeper Update
63,526 words -- final battle is in progress -- the ending is in sight -- much editing to do once the first draft is complete. I don't know if I will meet my self-imposed and ambitious goal of getting the first draft done by the end of the month but I'm sure going to give it a try. Stay tuned...

Writer's Retreat
After working 12-hour days all week I've spent the weekend at a writer's retreat. This was held in Geneva-On-The-Lake which is a ten-minute drive from my house. I elected to commute instead of getting a room. I've met another great group of writers, learned some things, and wrote a bunch of words. Today is the last day and I'm going to make this post short so I can get back to the group.

One of the best speakers was a man named Don Brun. He knows many famous authors and is a very well-connected down to earth type of person. What encouraged me the most was his opening statements. He said he's heard the other speakers talk about the technicalities of writing and the techniques to be used. He said (and this is not a direct quote); "I don't know any of that stuff. I don't really know what I'm doing but I do know that what I've been doing is working. I've written 13 books and I've been paid for them all. So I'm just going to stand up here and tell you my story." And that's the way it went. I think I would have said the same thing had I been standing in front of the group (although my book count is not quite that high).

The point here is that you don't need an award, you don't need a degree, you don't even need a terrible amount of education in order to become a successful writer. What you do need is an ear for words and the ability to tell a story. As Don points out, a writer is nothing more than a storyteller able to put the story into written form. Your success as a writer should not be judged on how many awards you've been nominated for because out of the tens of thousands of writers who are out there very very few even get nominated. Your success as a writer should be based on how your story is received. I get letters from fans and people asking me when my next book is coming out -- that's enough for me.

Don't get me wrong -- being nominated for an award is a great honor and it does help book sales. But not being nominated does not mean you are a terrible writer destined to be forgotten. My heart-felt congratulations goes out to this years winners and nominees of the annual SFWA Nebula awards. I will be meeting one of them later this year at Launch Pad. I am looking forward to meeting her as well as all the other talented writers.

Now - I must head back to the writer's retreat where I hope to crank out some more words.