Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
After being a member of the Writers Coffeehouse Yahoo! group run by Jonathan Maberry for two or three years, I finally managed to make my first meeting. The group meets the last Sunday of every month at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore, 102 Park Avenue in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. It just seems that I’m doing something the last weekend of almost every month!
The meeting space was packed with about 50-60 participants when I arrived, but I found a place next to a friend, writer Mark Wolverton. The discussion was definitely worthwhile, and I took copious notes on writing advice, conferences, and other opportunities. Topics included: how to find a book cover artist; creating a public version of oneself as a writer; using Twitter to promote your work and make contacts; the current state of the publishing world; finding an agent; and pitching your work at a conference.
I got some great feedback to a question on my mind: how to balance a writing career with being a stay-at-home mom. Unlike many mothers, who might get an opportunity to write in the evenings when their partners come home and can assist with baby care, I do evening transcription work. Finding the time to write in the daytime while I’m also the primary baby care person has been a challenge these past eight months. I was encouraged by the support of my fellow writers/parents, who assured me that I should go easy on myself, reduce my expectations, and enjoy this special time that, after all, will only last for so long.
Following the regular meeting was a Query Letter Writing Clinic run by Jonathan, which was very enlightening, even though I could only stay for an hour. Hopefully, I’ll get to attend more Writers Coffeehouse meetings in the coming months. It’s easy to isolate yourself when you’re a writer, but it was great to connect with other writers in person!