October and November seem to be the months for author events around my inner community. There’s a book-signing event at the Arts Alliance Festival. After that, there’s a Read Local event at my closest library (which makes it easy to attend), North Lakes Library. They’ve put a call out for local writers to show up, talk about their writing (which comes in two categories, I find… those who will talk about their books to whoever is willing to listen (me) and those who feel a bit weirded out that people want to talk to them about their books (my co-writer). Maybe I’ll even sell some books as well. I managed to sell a handful last time and I’d like to try again now that I have more than one title to my name.
Events like this don’t come around often and possibly the only negative is that you see the same faces attending these events (there’s only so many local authors, right?). Everything else is a massive positive; the experience, the ambience, meeting other writers, talking to readers. Events like this usually bolster me, motivating me to get writing, give me a push to complete the next book, the next story. My co-writer has told me that she sees feedback as a distraction and it de-motivates her to write (“Oh, you enjoyed the story? My job is done, then.”) I totally get that, and that’s a valid thought process that lots of people have, more so when they start new projects (or books, in our case). Perhaps most people don’t consider their reactions as consciously as Linda, but certainly they feel the effects. Read about the psychology of sharing goals here.
In November is a writer’s group convention. I got invited to that because a peer of mine–Lorraine Slim–and I started the North Lakes Writers’ Group, a peer-to-peer critique group. If you don’t have a writers’ group around you, I recommend you start one. All you need is one other person to get it going. It’s amazing what other writers will pick up on your behalf. You can shape the group to your liking…there are those who read out loud (like us) and others who swap a few pages between themselves. It really is win-win when you find a bunch of writers to pool your knowledge with.