Contributed by: Weegee Sachtjen
What makes you a writer?
Some feel you aren’t a writer until you are paid for your craft. Others feel it comes down to the end result of being published.
The truth of it is, writing is not a paycheck or a title. It’s an obsession.
You’re a writer because you feel a compulsion to explore the world around you. You’re a writer because you feel the overwhelming need to share the way your best friend laughs when she is uncomfortable, the way your neighbour has to check the front door four times before leaving for work or that dark side buried in the heart of all of us.
You’re a writer because you obsess over dialogue while walking the dog. You mentally rephrase sentences to make them concise, clear and fierce. You are a writer because you can recreate any memory into a short story in vivid detail.
You’re a writer because it is how you connect. You feel the need to output your viewpoint as a way of processing the world around you. You write to explain the “whys” of the world. You write to say “me too” to others who may be fighting the same struggle.
Lastly, you’re a writer because you can’t stop. You may have every reason to throw in the towel. You could have a stack of rejection letters and a negative bank account but you will still be driven to continue to write.
You’re a writer not because you write. It’s because you HAVE to write.
Contributed By: Sheila Cameron
Are we publishers? Do we have what it takes? Is that what we want to do?
We ruminated over these questions as the early bird deadline for the 28th annual IBPA Publishing University in Salt Lake City approached. The conference was more than three months away, but the decision to attend or not needed to be made.
We stared at the registration page and thought about the journey that brought us here.
It began with an idea for a movie that turned into a full-length novel written by my husband, Mark Cameron. By the time we put the final editing touches on the manuscript, we had made a choice to publish Goodnight Sunshine independently.
The process was like heading out on a cross-country road trip without a GPS or roadmap. Every fork in the road resulted in a decision, a choice or a reconfiguration of how we saw this journey unfolding. What size of print book? White or cream pages? What font size and style? How are the margins? How many copies do we print?
Each choice taught us something about ourselves, and about the journey we’ve embarked upon—lessons about what we’ve done well, and what we could do differently the next time.
The next time. Will there be a next time? Or will we turn the car around and head for home—calling it a day?
We’ve made it this far and something keeps moving us forward. The desire to share the written word with an audience. The wish to see our project through to its completion. The longing to connect and bond with readers. Stories unite, lift, inspire and reveal the depths of the soul in each of us.
Are we publishers? Yes. Is it something we want to do? We think so. Do we have what it takes? We have some applicable skills, one published book, the desire to connect and the drive to learn. And there is so much to learn!
With that in mind, we signed up for the IBPA Publishing University weekend. It looks like our roadmap will take us through Salt Lake City in April. We’ll see where it leads from there ….
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