I spent the weekend at the Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity (C3) Convention where I met a large group of authors at different stages in their writing careers. We had a great time together – discussing how to write snappy dialogue, hearing how we each got into writing, and learning from each other. The most important thesis that came out of the weekend for me was that we are not alone.
Every one of us faces some of the same struggles. How should we juggle our time between family, financial and creative obligations? How can we continuously strive to improve our craft? How can we move forward when our worries about the the future may paralyze us?
Depending on circumstances, we will each cope with these challenges in a different way. That’s natural of course. Being able to lean on each other and learn from the total set of experiences offers a valuable asset though. I am grateful for how open the authors that I met are about the struggles that they have faced. I’m also even more grateful that I was able to offer some of them wisdom from my own experience. It feels gratifying to know that my experience can help other authors moving forward with their careers. No one outside of the writing community can understand how my characters talk to me and propel a story forward. The fact that we can be collectively invested in each others’ success is something that I will continue to be appreciative of for the rest of my life.
The particulars of how to build snappy dialogue and create interesting characters may not be relevant outside of the writing community but the ability to lean on each other certainly is. I would love to hear about your experiences from other industries. I can only hope that they show the same level of solidarity that I saw this weekend. When someone else succeeds, our own success is not mutually exclusive. We should try to remember that when our more competitive spirits come out to play.
My first novel AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION (Book I of The Ahriman Legacy) is available as an ebook at all major retailers and a paperback at Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L1ISEUS.