Why I'm a James River Writer

May 4, 2015

 


If you are a struggling writer - you are not alone. There are others. Just like you. Trying to figure out the precise way of telling their stories. In fact, although you may feel like the only person in the world while you run into walls daydreaming about characters or plot, there's an entire community of people just like you. I promise.

In my city we have James River Writers, a group committed to encouraging all level of wordsmiths in their journeys. Although it may not seem like it when you see me downing beers and posing in rubber Raven heads (Poe event), I can be excruciatingly social shy. JRW has ALWAYS welcomed me. Whether it was Shawna Christos smiling or Katharine Herndon including me in conversation, or Bill Blume greeting me at Writers Farmhouse - this is a stellar group of warm, sincere people.

If you're anywhere close to the RVA area, here are four opportunities (out of many) for you through JRW:

1.     Go to a PANEL DISCUSSION. These are cheap at $15 ($12 member/$5 student) and gives you an up-close and personal chance at partaking of wisdom from authors/editors/agents  who have been there done that. Visit JRW website for event details.

2.     Check out WRITER FARMHOUSE - a casual get-together of local writers. Grab a cup of coffee and get to work on that manuscript, or just chat and catch up with how your fellow writers are getting along. Provides motivation and community. Check here for details. 

3.     Attend the October CONFERENCE. I can not stress this one enough. If you have never been to a writers' conference, now is the time to go! You will be immersed in the wonderful, crazy world of craft, publishing, genre...so many topics and words of wisdom and camaraderie packed into a weekend. Info here.

4.     Which leads me to the fourth opportunity - signup for a MASTER CLASS. These small classes give you an opportunity to gain insight from some of the top writers and agents in the business. JRW brings them to you. Saving you time and money instead of traveling to NYC or Iowa or Ohio and living in a dorm. Check website for changing classes.

Honestly, there are many nights when I just can't make it to these awesome events. I have three kids and a husband that travels for work. Yet, it's a reassurance to know that even if I don't make that specific night, there's a group of like-minded individuals meeting in the city, discussing things that matter to only us. I know that if I were there, I'd nod and they'd nod back in understanding. I would be understood. And, if not understood - close. So, I scan the JRW newsletter and daydream of a night that doesn't coincide with baseball, or soccer, or all-county band. I can plan to attend the conference to touch base with others going through the same ordeal that I am. And, breathe. Create. Regroup.
 

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