Hi OCC Family. I am still recuperating from my first RWA Conference last month. The conference reminded me of one of the trade shows I attend. Itâ€™s also like going to a place youâ€™ve always wanted to go. Youâ€™re exhausted, but want to see and do everything because itâ€™s your first time and you paid for it.
This month, I wanted to introduce you to a new writer, John Bucholtz. If the name sounds familiar, it should be, because itâ€™s Kitty Bucholtzâ€™s husband. John is new to writing, and I think youâ€™ll enjoy hearing from him.
Enjoy the post and Iâ€™ll update you next month on my 12 Titles project.
Coming Out of the Writing Closet
A couple weeks ago, I chose to come out of the writing closet.
No, Mom, I haven’t lost my mind.
No, my marriage to my wife is okay.
I have decided to come out and tell everyone â€“ I’m a writer. I have spent years hiding the fact that I write fiction from most of my friends and family. For some odd reason, I associated some sort of stigma to it. I always pictured stoop-shouldered figures bent over their computers writing for hours on end, finally emerging into the sunlight to scuttle off and toil away at their day jobs. People would look after them, shaking their heads and whispering to each other, “Oh, he says he’s a writer, but he still has a day job. He must not be serious.”
But I discovered I was completely wrong.
Writing is a passion. Writing is an art like painting or drawing that you want to share with the world. Writing isn’t just about trying to get published and make lots of money. (Well, okay, I would be lying to say I wouldn’t mind something like that.) It’s about sharing an adventure with someone else. It’s taking someone and showing them a world that you find interesting, amusing, and yes, maybe even scary. You write because there are these voices in your head that whisper to you to tell a story. (Please be careful what kind of voices they are â€“ some require therapy.)
But I guess writing is a type of therapy for many of us. We do it to quiet the voices in our heads. We do it to finally put words to the pictures and images we see that we think the world might find interesting, to situations that we find humorous, or to an adventure we want friends to undertake with us.
I went to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference in San Diego in July with my wife. It was my first ever writing conference, the first time I thought about trying to be taken seriously as a writer. This conference was good for me on so many levels. Not only did I meet seasoned veterans of the writing world, but I had the opportunity to meet a handful of literary agents and a smattering of book publishers.
I ran into a surprising number of wide-eyed and slightly frightened first-time attendees like me. It was comforting to see their mutual excitement and nervousness at being at a national conference attended by their peers. The classes not only catered to the romance crowd, but many of the classes could be applied to the writing of any genre. (For instance, I write books for junior high boys.) And the energy and plain helpful attitude of the more experienced attendees and staff quickly made me a little less nervous and more excited in attending the first of what I hope will be many writing conferences and seminars in the future.
My wife told me something after my first day there that I quickly found true: “I think you’re going to find that these are your people.” I was surrounded by other people who heard the little voices in their heads, who created strange worlds and the many characters who inhabited them and the adventures they went on. My wife was one hundred percent correct.
So I’m here to say to the world: Hello, my name is John Bucholtz, and I am a writer.
Middle-grade author, husband, artist, funny guy but easily distracte…