The editing of Dragonverse Origins continues. I'm about 3/4 done but after yesterday's author meeting I might have to do some rewrites to the chapter I just finished editing. Seems I'm not as good about thinking like a 12-year old as I thought. But, then again, it is MY work and I can accept or reject the comments from the group. Then again, when more than one person has the same opinion, it's time to reconsider.
One of the hardest parts of being a writer is being able to accept criticism. After all, you spent a lot of time working on your budding novel and now a bunch of mystery and romance novelists are going to tell you that you need a rewrite? Two of our members have MFAs. Several of the others may not have been published yet but they've been writing for quite awhile. All of them are readers and it's the readers that a writer needs to listen to. When you go to a writer's group, the feedback you are getting is generally not the feedback of an English teacher correcting your work, it's the feedback of readers who just happen to be writers. Listen to them. And that's what I'm going to do.
I leave for Laramie in 3 weeks, heading off to Launch Pad. I've been going to this event since 2012 and I've met a wonderful group of people each year. This August, I will be attending WorldCon (Sasquan). A good number of my Launch Pad acquaintances will also be there as well as an equal number of people from Launch Pad's I did not attend. I made some inquiries and I have a room reserved (401C) to hold a Launch Pad reunion as well as to allow anyone interested in applying to come and speak to those who have been through the course. It will be good to see those I've met before again and it will be fun to meet the others I've never met. If you are attending WorldCon, and you are available on the 21st, stop in and see us.
The other event I'm attending this year is the first-ever Schrodinger sessions. This event is being held at Joint Quantum Institute just North of Washington DC. Ever since traveling through the area several years ago, I swore I would never go through the DC area again. I hate traffic and it was horrendous. But, I could not pass up this opportunity. This event is modeled after Launch Pad but is only 3 days long. I am close enough to drive to this event. ($0.47/mile tax deduction too). Unlike Launch Pad, I've not had the time to research the people who are going. Perhaps I will do so this week. But, everyone has introduced themselves through email and I'm going to be in good company. Several people I know from Launch Pad will be there. If you've ever seen the movie "Earth to Echo", I will be meeting the person who did the screen play for it. I'm looking forward to having a great time.
If you had asked me back in 2009 when I put my first book up on Amazon what my life as a writer would be in 2015, I would have responded with something like, "I don't know---sitting around writing, collecting a few hundred dollars a year in royalties and continuing to work at the power plant." I would never have guessed that I would be an honorary member of the Launch Pad team, traveling to Laramie once a year, traveling to events such as the Schrodinger sessions, being a member of SFWA, and being asked to sit on at least one panel at WorldCon. My life as a writer is not nearly as boring as I thought it would be. I still have my job at the power plant but it's one that allows me to work a flexible schedule and I'm doing what I absolutely love to do--write code.
This only goes to prove that if you are persistent, listen to your readers, interface with the right people, and work hard at being a writer, you can achieve your dreams. I'm living my dream right now. Time to get back to writing.