Mar 6, 2010

ANWA Writers Conference, Full of Diversity

By Cindy R. Williams

"Don't tell anyone that you're writing. You don't want them to bother you with question like, 'Are you done yet?'"

"Let others know you are writing and what you are writing. It will bring accountability."

"You need a good editor. I had 12 edits before the book was published."

"You don't need an editor. You can edit it yourself."

"Query hundreds."

"Query five, then when rejected, try five more."

"Get an agent and have them sell your book to a publisher."

"The future is in self publishing and using a book producer rather than going with traditional publishing."

These and many other opposing opinions were given by presenters at the ANWA Writers Conference on Saturday, February 27 at the Dobson Ranch Inn in Mesa, Arizona.

The diversity was one of the many reasons the conference was so wonderful. The attendees had to think, and choose what works for them. None of this spoon fed, follow like sheep stuff.

We are all grown up now --I know, big news flash --and must figure out what works for ourselves. We each will develop our own system of writing. The fact that I'm a writer is known by my family and friends. I am open about some WIP's and others not so much. I will share them when their shelf life begins. In the meantime, I don't sweat it. Each work will let me know when it's time. I let them breath. I am at peace with my methods.

I want to have an agent and have them sell my book to a publisher, but I also want several self-published books, and involving a book producer will ease the way. In fact, my children's picture book, "Chase McKay Didn't Get Up Today," was published through a book producer. I own all the rights. I have had a blast running with it and using it to create a buzz and build my platform. The first printing sold out, and the second printing is almost gone. It is a great piece to my personal puzzle as an author. I have visited 30 elementary schools in a year and half with my book and the chidlren's writing program I developed. This is my personal journey, and I have no doubt new twists and turns are coming.

Editing? You bet. I know down to my toes that editors are needed. We are so close to our own manuscripts there is no possible way to be totally objective. Good editors make an okay book sing.

A good critique group and a few people who get your style also helps. J. Scott Savage, author of the "Farworld" Series still meets every Wednesday night with his critique group. ANWA meetings and other writing groups create a good network to find critique partners.

Everyone's writing journey is unique. Everyone's publishing journey is unique. Each of is a unique individual, so why would we even think that the way one person has succeeded is the way we must do it also?

There is a world of possibilities out there. There are many gold rings still available on the Merry-Go-Round of books. Frank Sinatra crooned, "I did it my way." That's what this whole writing journey is about. Finding what works for you, and then going for it. Fear of failure and stinkin' thinkin' gets in the way. Banish it all. Toss it out. Vanquish your demons. If the desire to write burns deep in your soul, DO IT and DO IT your way!


  1. Well said, Cindy! You make me think I can actually do it!

  2. Cindy, I love how you synthesized opposing viewpoints into something workable for everyone. It's so true that we need to see what's out there,experiment,and choose what works for us. Thanks for sharing what works for you, too (:.

  3. How I wish I could have come to the conference. Maybe next year.

  4. I hope you can make it too next year Christine. How about LDStorymakers in April. I am attending with several other ANWA from AZ.

    Kari and Sarah, thanks for reading. Sometimes you wonder when you write the blog if anyone is even out there.


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