Another snow day! Frankly, I’ve had enough. The first one or two are fun, an unexpected holiday, hunker down by the fire, write, write, write. But being housebound is getting old! In this part of the world, we should be out in the garden. In fact, I pruned fruit trees on the weekend, but Monday saw more snow.
I’m feeling a little cranky just now, but I am grateful that snow was no where in the forecast when VIRA held its annual Valentine’s lunch. February, Valentine’s, romance – seems a perfect combination.
For years this event was mandated by our association with Romance Writers of America® and included lots of awards for writing and volunteering. We had a keynote speaker, usually someone with a first sale – that was in the days when traditional publishing was the only way to go.
Life, and particularly writing life have changed since those early days in my career. Our group is no longer associated with RWA® but we still want to celebrate our craft and each other so, Valentine’s continues to be a highlight of our year. We’ve cut down considerably on the formality of the occasion although we still celebrate successes and milestones. This year we had a few more speeches than last. I enjoyed them. They reminded me of what it means to be a romance writer, encouraged me to embrace the new business model in publishing and to set goals for myself for the coming year. But mostly I enjoyed hanging out with other authors, exchanging war stories, comparing writing routines, hearing the latest from conferences others had attended.
I’d been feeling a bit isolated in my writing. I have an on-line partner whom I treasure, but nothing beats face to face. As though to underline my feelings, I just read a blog this morning proclaiming just that notion. “No writer succeeds alone,” and “Everyone needs support” were two of the section headings. Yes, thought I. Perhaps it’s because here in North America we’re in the depths of winter that there is a longing for friendly company, perhaps it’s just the fact of being a writer spending long hours alone with my thoughts, but February is definitely a time when I’m glad I have writer friends to share the journey. We may not write the same kind of books, we may not read the same kind of books, we may be traditionally published or e-published, we may spend hours on social media or we may find social media the greatest time-suck going. What we share is the struggle and passion of putting words to paper, of creating a story from nothing but our own imaginations, of having that euphoric moment when we write “the end.”
Merci, mes amis. You make the journey fun.