Sunday, February 28, 2010

Making Connections

Last month a group of my writer friends declared that February would be Write Your Butt Off Month (WYBOM). Each of us set personal goals and touched based several times a week, offering support when someone hit a rough patch or celebration when someone had a great day.

I worked hard on a revision for my agent, even squeezing in a couple of post-skiing hours on the weekends. After one last read-through on Friday, I sent the manuscript off (wahoo!!!). And then I noticed my desk--scary--and decided I'd better find out what lurked in those teetering piles. Mid-sort I found the copy of Standing at Water's Edge I'd bought after chatting with a fine artist who stopped by one of my book signings.

I left the rest of my desk messy, brewed a cup of tea, and settled in to read. I love finding a book that fits a particular moment in my life. The book is written by Anne Paris, PhD, a therapist who studies creativity and works with artists of all kinds. She emphasizes the importance of having meaningful connections with other people while doing creative work.

While art is created alone, we need to find supporters, mentors, and others sharing a similar experience. Like WYBOM! Not only did we cheer and nudge each other along in February, we meet for dinner throughout the year to talk writing, set goals, and simply connect with others who hear characters talking in their heads.

I truly appreciate the supportive writing and reading community in Utah. Last night was a good example. The book bloggers--and it turns out there are a lot of them here--host biannual dinner gatherings and invite authors to come too. I went for the first time last night.

About fifty people showed up--veteran authors, popular bloggers, newer bloggers, debut authors, award-winning authors, bestsellers, agented writers waiting to score that first contract, even a bookseller opening a new Indie store. We all ate too many desserts, talked books, writing, silly stuff--and I realized that Anne Paris is SO right. Human connection is essential, and while it's nice to get to know someone online, there's nothing like hearing someone's laughter in person.
Much thanks to Natasha at Maw Books Blog at for organizing the event!


  1. It was such a good time. Sorry you were stuck sitting next to me all night but I had so much fun gabbing with you!

    I came home and told Sam how therapeutic it was for me to dish with you. Thanks!

    btw: I never care about word verifications, but mine right now is "duumbe". Maybe I should reconsider my comment...

  2. I love the idea of WYBOM and having a group to encourage each other. Did it turn out well for everyone? Congrats on sending out your manuscript. That is awesome!

    It was so fun seeing you again. So glad you made it out to the social. I just loving hearing about your work.

  3. Brodi--hanging out with you is always fun : )

    Debbie--Most everyone did come close to meeting their WYBOM goals--or at least made helpful breakthroughs. It's was fun to see you too--I've been showing your cute business card to everyone!

  4. The book blogger party was so fun but I wish I had met you. Hopefully next time. I noticed that Suey really liked your book. I will definitely check it out.

    My word verification is "enator". Do you watch Phineas and Ferb? Love it!

  5. I'm so glad you had fun. It was great meeting you! I look forward to "catching up" with all your books. Thanks so much for coming to the party, and we hope to see you again at the next one.