Only five more days to the April 13 Write-a-thon and we just passed the $3000 mark and are more than half-way to our fundraising goal. The last week is always the big one. Will you help?
I had trouble posting on Thursday due to technical issues, and on top of that, it’s been one of those typically challenging weeks. Kids have the flu, the house is a mess, and Passover just started. But also: I'm just reaching the commitment stage on a new novel, and I was cramming on some research. Having obsessed nearly daily about a topic that floated into my consciousness in a serendipitous moment about three weeks ago, I can already see the two or so years ahead: the daily need for new hope. The words that accumulate only slowly. The self-doubt. The need to raise funds for a research trip to Baltimore. The very real possibility this novel won't get published, as so many don't. (And yet -- I'm so fascinated. Isn't that enough reason to jump in?) The search for information, inspiration, answers to those nagging, recurring questions of craft: is first person the right choice? Am I making this character come alive or just yanking her around on puppet strings? Am I putting enough care into each word?
I've needed help before and I'll need help again. Here's what 49 Writers will be doing for me and why last week, I made a small but heartfelt donation to the write-a-thon:
Saturday, I took two classes with Steve Almond, one on the topic of obsessions, which I hoped would convince me that my own obsession is the right starting place for this project. (It did, while adding new thoughts to my process.)
Early next week, I'll be meeting with a writing colleague I've gotten to know better through 49 Writers classes. We'll be discussing her novel-in-progress, but truth be told, I expect to learn just as much as if we were discussing my own.
Tuesday, I'll read one of Deb's latest craft-related posts. They've been extra good lately, helping me think about metaphor, revision, and more. I think she'll be ready to put together an entire collection of these someday. I hope so! And on Wednesday, I'll be looking forward to David Marusek's next post on e-publishing. This is something I can't afford not to learn more about, and his turn as featured author is timely.
The following Friday and for many Fridays after, I'll be reading the weekly roundup (Ela, what would we do without you?) looking for deadlines and grant info, because I know I need to find a grant for this project.
Friday, I'll also be participating in the Write-a-thon. Some words will accumulate, but even more, I'll enjoy that dose of validation that comes from being surrounded by other people who are dedicated to writing. I'll be grateful, once again, that Linda Ketchum has given so much to us already in her first months as 49 Writers executive director.
Later this month (Sat. April 28 to be precise), I'll be visiting Homer to give a talk and offer two free writing workshops at the Homer Library. How will people find out? 49 Writers will help spread the word!
I could keep going with this, but you get the idea. If you're a writer in Alaska, I hope you'll agree that 49 Writers has significantly helped you: educationally, inspirationally, or in some other way. Every day at some point, I get discouraged about the world of literature, the world of publishing and my own place in each, as writer and reader. Every day at some point, I find hope again, and proof that I'm not alone, and further proof that what we do matters.
Just before writing this post, I made a small write-a-thon donation to Teresa Sundmark. Why Teresa? Because I think it's so cool she's participating all the way from Homer. There were many other people I wanted to donate to, because each has done something special for 49 Writers. You should really check out how much these steadfast volunteers are doing, and raising money is only part of it.
But hey, I did what I could. Will you?