Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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September 7, 2018

What You Can Accomplish with Determination

Orly Konig

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.

Photo credit: ©dmitry_dmg

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?

About Orly

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).

Connect with Orly online at:

Website: www.orlykonig.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OrlyKonigAuthor/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/orlykonig/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/orly-konig

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/orlykonigauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/OrlyKonig

19 comments on “What You Can Accomplish with Determination”

  1. All hail, the Queen of WFWA (and she has the tiara to prove it). Orly steered the ship (with a cranky treasurer who had a death-grip on the purse strings) for the first few years.

    No way we'd be where we are without her wise leadership.

    YOU GO, GIRL! If you can do that, what else can you do that you don't believe you can?

  2. Indeed, the writer's journey is a hard road, and I would venture to say that most of us who travel it would not be on it if we didn't feel compelled--compelled by some inner muse that tells us we must. It's all of what you said, Orly, and more, and yet here we are determined in the face of all of it--rejection, acceptance, praise, and disregard--not just to succeed but because not to write is worse than failure and giving up is not an option. This from one who's not yet "made it" in the world's eyes, but that's another story.

    1. "Made it" depends on who you ask and what day you ask them, I think. I know plenty of published authors who are struggling to get new contracts or sell enough books to afford a pumpkin spice latte. But they're published. Have they "made it"? For someone who hasn't finished a manuscript in umpteen years (and may never type "the end"), another person who has and is actively querying, for example, is a hero.

      For me, if we're here discussing writing, pushing forward regardless of the obstacles, and keeping a sense of humor and humility from the success pedestal, then we've "made it." 🙂

  3. I'm so grateful you started this community, Orly! Thank you for giving so many writers a place to go to find inspiration or a kindred spirit!

  4. Wow! Congrats on the 1k in WFWA! I can't even imagine coming as far as I have without the encouragement and support of other writers. I'm a big believer in community, and it's great writers have options for finding the right fit. Thanks for highlighting this, Orly! I know I've told more than an couple of writers about your organization.

    1. I agree, Julie, writing communities are amazing. Whether people choose to join a professional association or bond through online groups such as Facebook or WITS!!!!!! or connect with another author or two at a local coffee shop, having someone who understands what you're going through is essential.

  5. Orly, thank you for what you've done, creating WFWA and helping it grow to the organization it is now. It was one of the first groups with which I connected as a writer, that is dedicated to determined writers, regardless of where they are on their writerly journey. I've found friendship, a great editor, encouragement, and acceptance at WFWA. This group has taught me much, and has given me its blessing in allowing me to post to this very blog. I share about WFWA in other groups, when I see people floundering, looking for a clear light to guide their path. Congratulations, Orly. Congratulations, everyone.

  6. Orly, of the writing groups I belong to, WFWA is probably the most helpful and supportive. Although I didn't have any success with agent interest during the recent WFWA pitch party, I certainly learned a lot and got a pitmad "like" yesterday from an agent I've had my eye on.

    I could have been disappointed enough to give up after the first pitch event, but between invaluable WFWA workshops, posted advice articles, and members who are nothing but encouraging, I'm motivated to keep querying and writing. I know one pitmad like is a baby step, but I'm thrilled to have a professional notice my pitch. Thanks WFWA!

    1. The query process (like everything else in this business) is unpredictable. For some it happens right away, for others (raising hand) it can take a long time. Learn from each step and don't loose sight of your end goal!!

  7. I remember the shock of the announcement at RWA Anaheim in 2012. After helping Laura bring ribbon-tied books, cards, and decorations for the day-long event before the start of the conference, I felt for all of you at the announcement of the change in the RITA categories. But you made it turn out right--better! Happy birthday, WFWA!

  8. Congratulations on the 5-year anniversary!

    The need to finish fuels my fire. I don't like leaving something half-done. It doesn't mean I don't have moments of doubt or frustration, but I'm not giving up.


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