Give me an R! Give me a W! Give me an A!

I can’t say enough good about Romance Writers of America. I’m just on the outside of the national organization, but the local chapter is a great group of writers and people wanting to be published, all willing to help out. It’s a wonderful thing to know that I will be attending the meetings every month in the coming year.

Even better, there’s a Convention in March! This will be my first writers’ convention, and I am thirlled about it. I missed the chance to get a room, and that would have been problematic anyway, so I will be driving two hours up and two hours back at least Friday and Saturday.

The convention draws writers from all over, as well as agents and editors. The workshops look to be awesome. The first one is Friday at noon, when April Kihlstrom will teach her Book in a Week class.

I’ve already started doing things that have improved my writing, like mapping how I think the story should go. Just as you can’t get in a car and drive and hope to end up in a certain location on time, you can’t expect to write a story in a timely manner without first thinking through how it should go.

By the same token, if you don’t know how you write and how much you are capable of writing, you won’t figure out the optimum writing time and place for you. I began a simple Excel page with the date, starting time, ending time, words written, and where I was at the time. This will give you the data you need to improve.

Both of those last two tips are from Rachel Aaron, and she has more. Don’t you love it when a published author shares their how-tos with you? And that’s what RWA is all about. Some creative pursuits exist in an environment of cut-throat, you or me, competition. But with writing, there’s enough for everyone. No two readers want the same style of writing, so why hold anyone back?

RWA now has members in many corners of the world. There might not be a chapter near you, but there are loads of great on-line chapters. This organization also has constant contests and on-line workshops. And there is a forum for the national organization. That is something I have yet to discover, since I rely on the local chapter for most of my socializing.

There’s been a lot of talk about the changed in membership with RWA, because you should be a published author before you can vote on things that will effect other writers. It makes sense to me, but get the information yourself before you make up your mind. Have a great New Year in 2015.

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