Last weekend was the annual fall West Virginia Writers Inc. overnight board meeting. It's an overnight because it is the first meeting where things begin to be finalized for our upcoming spring conference in June, the annual contest is put together, outgoing and incoming board member transitions are discussed, and a million other "little" thing are smoothed out. To say that there is a lot to discuss and decide would be an understatement. While I am no longer on the board, and have stepped down as Regional Representative, I love to be active in the group. First, because WV Writers Inc. works hard to encourage writers and literacy throughout our state. Not only that, we are happy to include writers and readers from all over our country and internationally. In other words, this group does good work and isn't afraid to reach out. Secondly, writing is a pretty solo process most of the time. While writers write because we love it and we need to share our words, it can get aggravating, lonely, frustrating, and downright depressing unless you interact with other writers who understand the glories and horrors of the process. Being active in the group gives me plenty of opportunity to interact with writers on all levels. The best part is that we all cheer each other on instead of see each other as competition. Interestingly enough, I have found that my favorite part of this whole writing thing is helping other writers. Yep, I said it. I prefer (most days) the role of support staff to the role of author. It's good to know these things about myself.
So, how am I staying active? Well, first I have agreed to be this year's annual Contest Coordinator! I'm pretty excited about this job. Over the next few weeks I will be updating contest forms, sharing information about categories (I'm very excited about our two revolving categories this year, and the prompts for our young writers are spectacular!), and hunting down judges (okay, this is the hard part for me, but I'll get it done!). The contest opens in January, so warm up your writing hand and get the words flowing now! We want to give the judges as hard of a decision as possible and create plenty of positive competition between entrants so they bring their best to the table.
I also raised my hand to work the Registration Table at this year's spring conference. My partner is one amazing woman who always has a smile. We have an awesome intern (who may even know that she has been "voluntold" for the post by now) as well, so you can be assured of a really good start to your conference experience when you check in for the weekend. I think it will be fun. I also think that I'm going to need to make some arrangements to copy notes from various workshops since I'll have my hands full and won't have time to attend.
I am happy to say that I managed not to land myself on any other major committees unless you count my attachment to the advertising crew as part of my contest coordinating. This is good news, because there is a fine line between helping and overextending. I think that I've managed to keep my jobs to a point where I can devote good time to everything without feeling frayed and overwhelmed. I should even have time to focus on my own writing while I handle my work for the group. I'm proud of this. It lets me know that I'm getting good enough at saying "no" to be able to start saying "yes" in a much better way. Finding a good balance is an art form.
That is all from my world for now. I hope your week is filled with work that makes you feel alive, and people who help you celebrate the fact!
I also wanted to share that Rocky did well on his Guy's Only Weekend! He is now officially a great pouncer and can climb out of his carrier if the top is left open. It's amazing how fast little things grow!
Being a homeschooling parent for 13 years and an independent author/illustrator makes a person learn quite a bit about a lot of things. Now it's time to pass it on!