|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
EVEN WHEN I GO OUT I'M STILL A WRITER.
I Wouldn't Change A Minute!
Got out of the house today. Made breakfast for me and the mate and then we were in the car and gone. A couple of quick errands and on the road into the mountains. Sightseeing? A picnic? Maybe a little fishing?
Afraid not, I'm a writer and the little resort town of Ojai (That's pronounced Oh, hi!) was hosting its annual Wordfest. Yes, a collection of poets, novelists, essayists, publishers and illustrators gathered to celebrate National Poetry Month and the written word. It's what was once termed a bus man's holiday. The day you get away from your doing something to go associate with other people who do the same thing. Why?
Because it's a good idea to get out there with others of your craft and mingle. It's an opportunity to see what others are doing, to rub elbows, and do that quintessential Twenty-first Century task of networking. I met with three people who agreed to contribute to my Wednesday blog Southern California Voices, two of whom I never would have connected with otherwise. I also picked up an offer to co-author a work with another writer, again something I would have missed otherwise.
Throw into this a chance to help out other writers by spending a couple bucks on their books. It's a tough enough road out here. If you're in a position to help, why not? I do believe that what goes around, comes around. How about you, or do you have enough beholding relatives to finance your literary madness?
One more side benefit. The town of Ojai dates back before the turn of the Twentieth Century and is one of those eclectic arts communities where you find yourself beyond the reach of fast food restaurants (there's an oxymoron!) and chain coffee shops. Funky boutiques, art galleries...(Yes, we splurged on a small, original seascape)...incredible eateries, and an atmosphere which helps you recharge and believe you've made the right choice pursuing the writing life. Add to this an arts, intellectual, and spiritual tradition that goes way back and what more could you want?
So, do yourself a favor. Get in touch with your local writing community. Find out what's going on and get going. No community that you're aware of? Well, start one! Make the first step a small one and join or organize a reading group at your local library. I'm sure the librarian would be glad to help. Then find out if anyone in the group is interested in writing. We all talk about our isolation and how hard it is to keep striving. Well, a drowning man goes under unless he grabs a life ring.
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis. Author.