by Jann Audiss
A glass half full!
In this world, we all look at life in different ways. Myself, I like the glass half full way of thinking. Looking back at the last six months, OCC/RWA’s meetings have been filled with speakers such as Anne Walradt, Robyn Carr, HelenKay Dimon, last month’s meeting and reception with Charlene Sands and Leanne Banks (the reception was so much fun) and this month Rob Preece and Sue Grimshaw. The next six months will be filled with more great speakers, a networking session and our 30th Birthday Party celebration in October. By the end of my OCC/RWA Presidency, I will have a full glass.
However, I find myself looking at my writing as the glass half empty. The Well Writer series in the May issue of the RWR has four outstanding articles on issues to help us evaluate and focus our lives and our writing. One article had me nodding my head in agreement to many of the little monsters that get in my way, like the internet, procrastination (my biggest monster), fear of failure, and asking myself, although I don’t think of writing as a hobby, where does it fall in my list of priorities. I had to chuckle at the “Just Say No” section (if I had listened to that one, I wouldn’t be writing this message). However, the articles on the power of believing in oneself and meditation were full of suggestions and ideas to help stay true to oneself and to open and refresh your mind (I’m actually listening to a spa meditation CD while I write this message). I’m already redesigning my writing area and looking at colors to paint the walls. The article on keeping the creative well refilled helped to justify why I take classes, read blogs, seek information from websites, and attend OCC/RWA meetings. But, I will now keep in mind to watch how much time these activities are taking. The workshops, friendships and support I have found at OCC/RWA provide me with inspiration and strength to continue my journey in this wacky world of writing (and probably the reason I find myself volunteering). If you haven’t already read these articles, take a few minutes and see if maybe there may be an idea or two that might resonate with you – especially if you have hit a brick wall.
I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Weekend. My thoughts and prayers go out to the men and women serving and protecting our country and their families, as well as to everyone in the Midwest and the South who have been struck by the devastating storms.
Not even published yet and I have to write a message to a bunch of editors? Iâ€™m in so much troubleâ€¦ (And the first one of you who sends this back to me red-linedâ€¦ well Iâ€™llâ€¦ Iâ€™ll justâ€¦ uhâ€¦ probably learn from it. J)
I think one of the most important things you should know is that I appreciate (needâ€¦ thrive onâ€¦ demandâ€¦) feedback. This isnâ€™t my organization. Itâ€™s yours. Iâ€™m a facilitator by profession so I encourage you to send me, and your board, ideas, thoughts and concerns. One caveat though. Relentless criticism will probably be blown off. We need to hear if something is wrong, but what we need more are ideas on how to fix things. We get enough criticism when we send our newborns off to the editor. Put those creative brains to work if you see something amiss. Iâ€™m also setting a goal of putting together a strategic plan this year that will help this organization thrive for the next several.
Second item? Volunteers. We have fresh faces this year and it is fabulous. But we need more. Time is precious to all of us; possibly the most precious commodity of all. And I revere mine. But I try to prioritize (not always successfully). I know there are those of you out there who really cannot add one more thing to your agenda. But volunteering runs the gamut of time consumption â€“ You could sit with Marilee at the membership check-in table occasionally. You could arrive early to help set up, or stay a few minutes to help take things down. You could put your graphic arts abilities to work and create a poster for us to take to National next year. You could coordinate shipping books to judges for a contest, or offer to bring the used books to the facility every other month, trading off with Peggy Mansur who has been doing this faithfully for years. If you have a few minutes we have the job to fit those few. And if you have a few more, we have some committee roles that desperately need to be filled.
Third item? Who the heck is this person? (I was going to say broad, but Jann would probably kill me. 🙂 ) I write Romantic Suspense and have achieved Pro status by receiving rejections on three completed novels. I was a finalist (yeah? Try to put that in active voice â€“ finaled isnâ€™t a word!) in the Orange Rose once, and just missed by a point on another occasion. Most recently I am dabbling in something that resembles a crossover of paranormal romance and womenâ€™s fiction.
In my other life, I work for the State of California, managing ten-plus staff in two offices (Cypress & Chatsworth) who inform and involve communities in toxic chemical clean up actions happening in their neighborhoods. I live in the shadow of the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, so commuting is a part of life (an expensive one lately!). I am owned by two dogs, two cats, and four fish â€“ who I forgot to feed this morning. Rats. Be right backâ€¦ next month, I meanâ€¦
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