This post isn’t about writing. Well, yes but in a roundabout way. Hang with me for a few minutes, and it’ll make more sense.
When I started writing, I didn’t know anything about the industry. Or writing for that matter. The teacher of the workshop I was taking at the time suggested I join a writer’s association. I did. And then I joined another one. And then, because none of those felt right, I helped start a writer’s association. (You can read my post on finding the right fit in a writing organization here).
In two days, that new association turns five! Not only is the Women’s Fiction Writers Association turning 5, it also reached the membership milestone to 1,000 members earlier this year.
I learned a lot about myself from the experience of launching WFWA (you can read about that here). But it’s the members of WFWA that continue to inspire me.
WFWA is a volunteer-run association. Everything that happens is organized and overseen by authors who have to carve out time for writing. Many hold other jobs as well; all have families and outside lives. Each year, new programs are launched, old programs are improved, new volunteers step up, new authors join. But what drives all of the them is the determination to succeed in their writing career.
On days when I’m frustrated with sales or reviews or the painful slog up the word-count mountain, I go to the WFWA Facebook group and read some of the posts. From the members who participated in the agent pitch party and received offers of representation, to the posts encouraging members after a painful rejection, to writing advice on any number of topics, the overwhelming desire to help each other blows me away.
Writers, and I don’t care if it’s in the confines of a writer’s association or a Facebook group or a coffee group, are a generous and tenacious breed.
We’ve chosen a hard road, one that’s filled with rejection and desperation, but also accolades and joy. We’ve come together in search of therapy and support, laughter and understanding. And we’ve come together through the sheer determination of wanting to succeed.
I never thought I’d be able to lead a writer’s association, and I had doubts that I’d become a published author. I owe the founding partners and the members of WFWA a huge thank you. Their enthusiasm fueled my determination.
What fuels your determination? What gets you through the doubts? What have you accomplished that you didn’t think possible with the help of your writing community?
Orly Konig is an escapee from the corporate world where she spent roughly sixteen years working in the space industry. She is the founding president of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, a member of the Tall Poppy Writers, and a quarterly contributor to the Writers In The Storm blog.
She’s the author of Carousel Beach (May 2018) and The Distance Home (May 2017).
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