Friday, June 12, 2009

Blinding Insight

You know how, in that magical moment of time just before you fall asleep, you suddenly think of the most incredible plot developments and dialogue? Or you get a sudden insight into something and with your half-asleep brain wonder if you'll remember it in the morning?
I had an incredible lightbulb moment at 1am this morning.

My brother and I are very different people. With an age gap of 5 years, living half a world apart, him being male and me female, and him having a Doctorate in Quantum Physics and me being a university drop-out, on the surface we have very little in common. But there are odd moments when you can tell we were raised by the same parents.

My brother is President of Software Freedom International, a non-profit organisation that promotes free software for all. I'm virtually computer illiterate so you might be wondering how this shows how alike we are ... I'm getting there. I will make the point eventually ...

I am a great believer in giving people access to information, and nurturing and developing people. This is one of the reasons why I love eHarlequin and the romance writing community in general. There are so many great writers who give back to their community. However, I live in a country where writing is a very solitary occupation. There are no organisations to join, no conferences to attend, and very little in the way of support or encouragement. To the best of my knowledge, there is one company that provides writing workshops - but they do it solely as a business and their fees are steep.

So if my brother can make the effort to bring free software to developing nations, I think I can make the effort to make information and support available to all romance writers in this developing nation.

Do you belong to any form of writing association? What benefits do you make most use of and what features would you most want from a writing organisation?


  1. Writing in isolation is hard. I wrote in a bubble for years but feel that I've made more progress since I've been blogging than I did in the previous many, many years. Support from other writers in the same boat is vital.

  2. Hear, hear! It is hard to keep at it when you feel you're alone out there! Published romance writers are so generous of their time and advice - why should we wait before getting published to support one-another?

    Amanda Holly

  3. I belong to the RWNZ, Romy, and the greatest thing about it is the monthly meetings we have. Usually there is a presentation or a workshop, there's always food, lots of conversation, and at the end everyone gets the opportunity to say what they're doing writing-wise. It's really a fantastic support. And then there is the organisation of our yearly conference, competitions, more workshops... It's great. Good luck with what you're trying to achieve!

  4. I'm a member of the RNA here in England and I think the most valuable thing will be the NWS. I am so looking forward to finishing my ms and getting it critiqued (along with terror at putting my work 'out there'!).

    It's not an organisation I'm a member of but I've done a fair few courses with the Writer Univ last year and this. I've learnt so much information, not free, but very affordable. I can see the improvements in my writing.

    By far the most important aspect to my writing has been free. I agree with Suzanne, blogging and the support you get is invaluable.

  5. I'm a member of Romance Writers of Australia Romy - and joining was the best thing I EVER did for my writing. Hearts Talk the monthly mag is an invaluable resource packed with author, editor and agent interviews, craft articles, business updates, current trends, etc. Also being a member means being able to access the brilliant CP scheme, enter contests and be part of the online yahoo loop in which published and unpublished authors share their knowledge and writing ups and downs. It's such a wonderfully friendly group too... oh and I can't forget to mention the fantastic conf that happens once a year. Pouting that i can't be there for this years!

    I'm also a member of RWNZ but mostly just so I can enter their contests as they're a little far away for me :)

  6. Thanks for all the great feedback and suggestions. I love the monthly meetings (with food!) and of course an annual conference would be great - might take a while for us to get to that stage though. A linked- yahoo group also sounds like a great idea.