Writing Tip #15 — join a writing community

My writing tip for today is . . . join the Willamette Writers. If you live in the Portland, Oregon area it means you get to attend the monthly meetings (speaker series) for free and you get a discount on the fabulous annual conference. But even if you don’t live in Portland, you will get the Willamette Writers monthly newsletter.  Not only do I write a column for this publication, my sister (screenwriter, playwright, writing teacher and President of WW) Cynthia writes a column, too. As does popular writing guru Jessica Morrell. There are also articles on self-publishing and  info on critique groups, contests, and other events. (See excerpts below from my first three columns.) To join WW, go to www.willamettewriters.com – a year’s membership is only $36.00.

Another new benefit for Portlanders who join WW? The Writers House — WW bought a house in West Linn with rooms for writers to get away and get some pages down. For a low ten dollar donation you have use of one of the rooms for 24 hours. See the WW website for details. And be a joiner! If not WW than a writers group in your area. It’s great to be part of a community. I’ve been a member of mine for over a decade.

From the January 2011 column “Being Library” ~

And if library could be an adjective, was I Library? I went through my life and tried to take a reading (as it were) – I was going to the public library to check out a book. Obviously that was Library of me. And it was a collection of literary short stories – very Library — one written by my boyfriend’s cousin, David Schickler – Library by proximity. AND I was listening to an audio book in my car – more Library than listening to pop music on the radio. (But I still hadn’t figured out which station played NPR – that would’ve been Librarier.) The book on tape was a Stephen King. I know what you’re thinking — not as Library as a John Steinbeck. But it was King’s book on writing, so hah! Definitely Library.

From the February 2011 column “The Tesseract in the Writer’s Mind” ~

Maybe after a long walk and talk with a few of my favorite authors (in my dreams) the following boring sentence might be transformed.

Me:  The day was almost over and I hadn’t gotten any writing done.

Neil Gaiman inspired: It wasn’t that the computer screen was simply blank; it was a sucking white sun of blankness. If it had been any blanker, the letters from nearby documents would have been pulled into the whitehole of its blankdom. Not even a hidden tab or indent command waited under the surface. The screen repelled writing like a raging, empty-bellied blankosaurus. It sweated 60 SPF writers block, enough to ward off an infinity of Hamlet-typing monkeys.

From the March 2011 column “Beware the Coming of the Spring” ~

Do not go gentle into the light. Before you celebrate the equinox and revel in the rising thermometer, think on this: Winter is your friend. Sunshine only tempts you to put on shorts, wash the car, and do the weeding. Some part of you might be longing for fair weather, but the Dark Soul of the winter is the writer’s den.


2 Responses to “Writing Tip #15 — join a writing community”

  1. Ali Muñiz Says:

    I see on the WW boards that there’s an SF and fantasy friendly writers’ group in Beaverton– only it meets on Tuesday nights. Sadly, I seem to be busy on Tuesdays. I may have to play hooky from a couple of SRS rehearsals.

    • Laura Whitcomb Says:

      Hmmm. Maybe there’s more than one group (or more than one meeting nights.) That would be good to look into. But I don’t want you to miss choir, either — you’re an excellent tenor — we need you! Maybe there’s some kind of SciFi/Fantasy solution to this like parallel universes or time travel or dopplegangers. =D

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