This past week I had my second blind date with a writer. No, not a romantic date, this was more like an appointment to commute to a writing meeting together, even though we'd never met.
As a new writer who was first published as a copy writer only a couple of months previously, I was ecstatic to attend my first BIG writer's meeting. Before this, I have only attended two small writer's critique meetings. When I walked in I had to sign in as a guest, pay my $5.00 fee, and write down my name, address, and what kind of a writer I was. I wrote "Journalist, ALLVOICES.com."
The room quickly filled up as my new writer friend, Jean and I sat at one of the 15 or so round tables checkering the huge room. The Northwest Christian Writer's Association meeting opened with a prayer and a devotional. Then a gentleman welcomed all the visitors and asked each of us to stand when he mentioned our names and introduced our writing genre.
Next, was a "Time of Celebrations." Any writer in attendance could line up and for one minute share their writing successes. About 12 writers lined up to speak. Jean leaned over and said, "You should go up there and share about your writing." I looked over and gave her an "I don't know" kind of look. She leaned back over and said, "watch a couple and see how it goes then you can line up."
Since I am an extreme extrovert, have hosted a shopping channel for a year and a half, and spoken publicly on numerous occasions this was not a problem, but I hesitated. I mean, my gosh, I was in a room filled with anywhere from 100 - 150 or so novelists, poets, journalists, and biographers. Who was I in comparison to them to be telling of my writing successes?
So, I sat and listened as each writer shared. The single file line moved along quickly. Meanwhile I prayed, "God if you want me to share, help me not be stubborn." I pictured myself up at the pulpit holding each side, as I spoke. Only, I wasn't in line, I was still sitting there.
When there were about four remaining, Jean leaned over and said, "You still have time." Immediately I stood up and walked to the end of the line, now with three remaining. I prayed and prayed for wisdom. As I walked up the steps and over to the pulpit immediately I put my hands on the side just like I had visualized myself.
I said, "Ever since I was in high school I wanted to be a writer. I am 48 years old now, and a couple of months ago I became a copywriter with Interact Media after finding the job on Craigslist. Next, I began writing for Textbrokers, and most recently I've written for ALLVOICES.com which I also found on Craigslist. "
I went on to say how in less than a month on ALLVOICES I was promoted from Stringer, bypassed Reporter, and became an Anchor. I told of how I made $94.00 at Interact, $5.60 at Textbrokers, and $138.00 at ALLVOICES. I can't quite recall all I celebrated, but I mentioned a few more things, walked off the stage, and sat down.
When it came time to network, I was nearly surrounded by people asking me questions, handing me their business cards, and wanting to listen to me. I wondered what the big deal was; I really hadn't made a lot of money writing yet.
Why were so many writers coming to the little kid writer asking me questions? Then it dawned on me; these people have written whole books and not made a dime. These prolific writers have self-published and paid hundreds and even thousands of dollars out of their own pockets to do so.
Now I get it! So I told them there were hundreds of online copywriting jobs out there. I told them they could go home and start writing on ALLVOICES tonight. I showed them the site on my netbook and explained some of the details.
It felt so good to feel like I could inspire, help, and somehow encourage others! Who'd a thought a little child could teach the grownups...
Writers Inspiring Writers: Part 2: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-new