By Krissy Baccaro
One of the most important things you can do in life is to connect with others. Families need connection, communities need it, schools need it and WRITERS need it. Connecting with others, provides us an opportunity to build and strengthen our relationships as well as building trust by supporting each other. We feel inspired, valued and grateful when we connect with other people as we work together towards something important. We are far more successful working together than working alone.
I am learning about the value of connecting with other writers through an online course I’m currently taking, called “Write to Publish” (visit: www.thewritepractice.com for more information). This course has taught me a lot about reaching out to my readers, becoming a stronger writer and most importantly, building relationships with other writers. I am part of a writing cartel, a tribe of writers, seeking to achieve success by being generous and helping each other. Sometimes we’ll read and critique each other’s work, we might feature each other on our websites and we always encourage one another and assist each other in achieving our writing goals.
Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing three writers from my group, each in different stages of writing. What I learned was invaluable, and what I gained was a deeper respect for each of them as human beings and fellow writers. These writers are not only part of my writing cartel, but they are also my friends.
Today I will feature three writers: B.L. Golden, O’ree Williams and Selma.
Bonnie began writing fiction years ago and after a few creative writing classes, she was immediately hooked. Bonnie states, “I just loved the creative process and how fun it was to learn and explore emotions and experiences through the eyes of made-up characters. It really was sort of magical.” She says sometimes the characters take on lives of their own and if she tries to craft a plot that goes against their character, it simply refuses to be forced. She loves what she learns by putting herself in the lives, worlds and experiences totally foreign to her own. She says it makes her a better, more empathetic, and understanding person. It is fun to create a world or experience that you can step into and view from their perspective.
In the beginning of her writing career, Bonnie’s biggest challenge was putting her work out there for others to read and critique. As she got older, she realized how much she still needed to learn and started viewing others’ comments differently, realizing that some of the feedback is great, allowing her to see her writing from the perspective of someone else while gathering great suggestions. Other comments were not helpful or just wrong. So, she took what helped and ignored what didn’t. She realized that she can only get better by continuing on.
Like many aspiring writers and authors, her biggest issue now is finding and making the time to write fiction every day. Working full time while balancing a busy life took over for Bonnie for 16 years, while she started and ran her own company, pushing her dream of fiction writing aside. Now, she continues writing non-fiction/business articles daily while trying to make the time to write fiction once again. On her blog, she offers valuable tips and advice for writers who are trying to balance their passion for writing into their already busy lives.
To learn more about B.L. Golden, visit her here:
O’ree Williams was first inspired to write by a friend who had just written a book. O’ree first began writing historical fiction. He says that music gives him inspiration and he often listens to music when he writes, allowing the music to assist with the creative and imaginative flow of his words. He mentions “House of The Rising Sun” by The Animals as one song that helped him with one of his creative writing pieces. Currently, O’ree is working on writing short stories, while continuing to work on his supernatural thriller novel. He credits The Write Practice and Nanorimo as two programs that have assisted him in pursuing his writing career.
What O’ree likes most about writing is learning to be cool with letting ideas go and enjoying the creative moment. He says that writing is soothing and scratches that creative itch.
The most challenging thing for O’ree as a writer, is getting into a vain of nothing being said, where the writing stalls and nothing else comes. Something that many writers often face.
O’ree recommends joining a writing group or forum where writers can meet other writers and share their stories. If you do join a writing forum, he offers this advice: be specific about what you want critiqued. He also says to look for the audience you want to connect with and take the time to peruse that website before commiting.
O’ree recently interviewed Peter Flannery, Fantasy author of First and Only and Battle Mage who offered invaluable advice on how he began his writing career. You can check out this interview on O’ree’s website below.
To learn more about O’ree Williams, visit him here:
Selma is a writer who is originally from Belize, and now lives permanently in Japan. Twenty of the twenty eight years she’s been there, she spent as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher to children. Two years ago, she retired and began volunteering her time teaching elementary school children and adults who seek the company of an English teacher. Reading has always been her hobby but truth be told, she has yet to read the classics.
She also loves writing letters mostly to imaginary people since, apart from writing to her mother, she doesn’t have a repertoire of friends who share her love of letter-writing.
The year she retired, she spent time listening to podcasts back to back, all on books and writing. One podcaster, Sarah Werner mentioned Joe Bunting from The Write Practice who was offering a writing contest. Selma quickly joined and loved the writing experience, which began her journey to becoming an author. She says, prior to joining, no one except for her mother had ever read her stories, so sharing with others was not only a vulnerable experience but also very rewarding. Selma completed the first draft of her novel and has gone through the first round of editing with her community at the Write Practice. In time she will go through another round of revisions and hopes to have her novel ‘Days Without Grace’ polished enough to get it published.
What Selma loves most about being where she is now is “the ability to tap into that realm where stringing one word together with another one, creates stories that never existed before the first word ever came into play.”
Her biggest challenge is managing her author website, blogging mechanics, and promoting herself, when she’s still developing herself as a writer. She has a wonderful website with creative stories and insights which she loves to share with her readers.
To learn more about Selma, visit her at: