As many of my readers know, I joined the Atlanta Writers Club early this year. I have been attending the monthly meetings regularly and I have learned a ton! Each month we have a couple of guest speakers and a member minute. I try to listen closely and take notes at each session so I can take advantage of the knowledge and experience these authors are sharing.
Ignore the “voices:”
Here are a couple of interesting tidbits from some of the meetings. I realize that many of you may already know these things, but they were new and exciting to me. Patti Callahan Henry was one of the speakers at our last meeting and here was a great takeaway for me. How do you separate from the “voices” in your head that impede your writing progress?
What Patti explained was that each of us as writers have influences in our lives that impact our stories. For instance, what if you’re writing a war scene and soldiers are fighting in hand-to-hand combat and you have to drop the F word as part of the action? And all the time you are thinking that your mother, grandmother, or preacher might read the book. So, you take it out and then put it back in and repeat the cycle. The advice given was to be true to your characters and use the word. As a writer, I understand the dilemma, and as a reader, I would rather have the characters act as they should. In short, I agree with the advice (sorry Mom).
Another interesting topic from the meeting was audiobooks. We had a representative from ListenUp Audiobooks in Atlanta give us a presentation on the process of creating an audiobook. Fascinating stuff and so much to learn about how to create my own audiobook for The Gemstone Chronicles! Inspired by the discussion, I consulted some of my author friends to see what experiences they had with their own audiobooks and decided to go for it. I just sent out my request for auditions on ACX and I hope to start hearing narrators reading The Carnelian in the next few days. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to hear it!
Other perks as a member of the Atlanta Writers Club include the opportunity to interact with agents and editors at twice yearly writer conferences, interact with the other authors who are members of the club, and have many other chances to pick the brains of talented writers from multiple genres. As a relatively new writer, these are golden opportunities to learn and grow as a writer!
This is a small sampling of what I have learned. I know I’ll continue to learn more as I attend upcoming meetings. If you are an author, what writers club(s) do you belong to and what new things have they taught you? If you’re a reader, do you go to writers club meetings to discover new authors and their works? Leave me a comment and let me know!