How to Make the MOST of your Writing Weekends: WORDfest 2019

Saturday, March 23, 2019 — a day spent with writers, bloggers, authors, playwrights, educational specialists — in essence, a day to grow and learn as a writer.

Like most conferences, there were seminars designed to encourage growth of basic skills to the next level, those for writers who’ve been around the proverbial publishing block, ones to maximizing online presence and even specialty sessions for groups wanting to grow their membership. Visual demographics leaned heavily toward the female gender, but there was a great blend of young and old.

“Writing isn’t for the faint of heart. Writing is for the tenacious . For those who can stand the solitude. For those who are willing to toil.”

K.M. Saint James

I read so many blogs of young women — and for those reading this, almost all of you will be younger — who feel a calling, an undeniable urge and a thirst to write and more to share that writing.

In my typical Texas fashion, I tip my hat — that’s a Stetson, of course — to you all for that writing bravery.
Writing is a bit like bull-riding. Hang on, I haven’t baked my brain in Texas sun. The 8-second goal is always on the bull-rider’s mind. That buzzer + being on the back of the bull = SUCCESS.

But ladies and gents, if you believe that it’s all about . . . or . . . ONLY about those 8 seconds, then you’re not in your ‘right-thinking-mind’ as we say in Texas. Bull-riders are tremendous athletes who put in hours of grueling training, weeks on the circuit, bruises (in places that we won’t mention) even broken bones. IT’s hard work. Now, you’re getting it. Just like writing is hard work. I will be the first to admit that I have NEVER broken a bone due to excessive writing so bull-riders still win that event.

My good Texas advice to all you youngsters — and remember, you’re all younger than I am . . . if you’re serious about your writing: Find a group, a seminar, a critique partner and invest the time and effort to learn your craft then HONE your craft.

There are many great writing organizations. I don’t promote one over another . . . it depends on writing needs and skill level to find one best suited to each individual. The point is to look at writing groups, lurk a bit if it’s an online group, visit a few meetings if there is a local chapter, contact writers in the group(s) and get their take. Then jump in. Standing on sideline won’t win you a medal, a shiny belt buckle, or a publishing contract. Hop in the saddle and go for the ride. That’s how you hit the 8-second buzzer.

Writing Organizations worth a look-see:

Romance Writers of America

Young Adult Romance Writers of America

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

Association of Writers & Writing Programs

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

Sisters in Crime

Horror Writers Association

Writers’ Guild of Great Britain

Happy writing to you all, and remember the 8-second rule: Stay in the Saddle and git it done!

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