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My Local Writing Community is Strong

Last Saturday was the 2018 Writers’ Faire at the Joplin Public Library. I missed the 2017 Faire, which was the first one. I was excited that my schedule allowed me to attend this year. I was impressed by the number of local writers participating. I knew many of them and hope to become acquainted with the rest.

I’ve been part of our local writer community for several years. I do my utmost to support my fellow writers and encourage them in their endeavors. However, it still surprises and humbles me when they return the favor.

I visited the tables of several authors I know from various groups, and spent way more money than I was planning. They all asked me when my book was coming out. They all told me what a great writer I am. They all encouraged me and said far more nice things than I probably deserve.

The mutual support of a close-knit writing community is nothing short of miraculous. As a writer, I often doubt the quality of my work, as well as myself. Writing is typically a solitary activity. The words sound good in my head, but I don’t like them as well once I see them on paper. So, I change them. Then I change them again.

I’m sure you remember the cartoon where the angel sits on one shoulder and the devil sits on the other shoulder, each telling the person to do something different. Editing is like that, but without the angel. My writer colleagues give me the confidence to tell the devil on my shoulder to go to . . . well, you get the idea.

There are many wonderful books in the world that aren’t written by best-selling authors. If you only browse the front tables at your local bookstore, you are really missing out on some great stories. I encourage you to check out the local author section of your library or bookstore. Who knows? You may find a new favorite author there.

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