A little under a year ago, a friend of mine started a writing group. His intention was for this to be a different kind of writing group, one where writers could come together and support each other, to kick the “starving artist” routine once and for all.
I signed on from the very beginning, not because I needed a place where I could find support as a writer (because I already had that with my amazing group of friends at Writer House in Charlottesville, who I even saw *gasp* in person), but because I wanted to make a commitment to myself. I wanted to take my writing more seriously, and this was another step in the right direction.
The truth is, that even though I’ve been writing since I was in grade school, and even though I have five successful NaNoWriMos under my belt (and a collective quarter of a million words from that alone), I have always looked at writing as a hobby.
Now, through the beauty of online community and the vision of a guy who wanted to redefine the writing community, I think that I can now officially don the title of “writer”. There was no magic spell to make this happen, just a push in the right direction, and my name in the byline as contributing author of a book project.
Without further ado, I present “Before You Quit Writing, Read This” – a collaborative book project headed up by none other than Mr Dave Ursillo, and full to the brim with wisdom from the Literati – the aforementioned writers group. The book (available in Kindle format) is dedicated to any writer out there who has found themselves on the verge of calling it quits, and speaks to three distinct phases in the writer’s journey – the Emerging writer, the Committing writer, and the Flourishing writer.
It’s hard to pick any one section, any one essay, to highlight from this compilation; each of the contributing authors writes from a place that is authentically their own, and lays bare their own experiences so that others might learn from them, or find courage to stay the course. My own section is inspired by a blog post that I wrote last year called Kicking Fear in the Face – a post that resonated with my readers, and still holds the light of truth for me today.
So, dear readers – if you find yourself at a place of doubt or fear, unsure of the path ahead, wanting to put your pen away for good, do me a favor. Pick up this book and let the words wash over you, so that you might recognize that you are not on this path alone. Pass it along to someone you know needs it. Or, buy it just because you’re awesome. (All proceeds will be utilized to fund the next Literati project.)
And, if you find yourself in need of a community, or just inspired to join us – let me know, and I can get you in touch with Dave when the next set of spots opens up in the Literati.
Now: Go. Pick up the book. And let me know what you think – but whatever you do, before you quit writing… read this.