Writers in North Carolina are extremely lucky to have North Carolina Writers Network, and we in the southwestern part of NC are fortunate to have NCWN West or Netwest as we often shorten the name of this chapter.
Tonight I read the article by Maureen Sherbondy http://www.ncwriters.org/news/553-why-i-belong-to-the-ncwn ,on how NCWN made such a difference in her writing achievements from learning to write to publishing and marketing her book.
I could write that article on NCWN West and NCWN. I had been writing all my life, but it was not until I joined NCWN and automatically became a member of NCWN West that I really became a writer. In my hometown I never knew a writer. I didn't think any writers lived in our town.
I once saw in the newspaper where a writing class was being offered at the junior college. I gathered up my courage to register. I was a young adult who had not shared my work with others and certainly never spoke of my goal of being published one day.
The night of the first class I sat near the back but could clearly see the pompous young man who sat in front of a room half full of wannabe writers. I only remember his smug expression and his words: Most of you won't come back next week, and half of you who do will leave here crying.
It didn't take a brain surgeon to know that this was not going to be a learning experience, but an opportunity for this jackass to wield power over those who had the gall to stay in his class. I left and did not go back.
Many years later I moved to North Carolina and joined NCWN where I met Nancy Simpson, Program Coordinator for NCWN West. That was a major turning point of my life.
I urge anyone who wants to write, whether for a hobby or for more serious reasons, to join a supportive writing group and attend writing conferences, workshops, take classes with good teachers, and stick to your dreams.
The NCWN Spring Conference is coming up April 24. Go to http://www.ncwriters.org/ and look at the schedule of presenters for that day. Go for the classes, but go for the opportunity to meet other writers and vendors, publishers and authors, new and old. Sometimes I think only writers understand other writers. I know that writers love to gather and talk about writing.
Here in North Carolina we are extremely lucky to have a terrific writing community. If you live anywhere nearby, take advantage of it.