Friday, September 10, 2010

How far would you go?

We're all writers. Just being a writer requires certain levels of commitment. This often means making sacrifices of time and other parts of our lives. For many of us it also means spending money. If we're published, it can mean spending our royalties on promotion and things like conferences.

I still do most of my promotion online. I have chosen to spend my royalties on writing conferences and workshops. So far I have been to two conferences, Left Coast Crime in Los Angeles and Bloody Words in Toronto. In another two weeks I will be heading for North Carolina to attend Lee Lofland's Writers Police Academy so I can further my research into police procedure and get some hands on experience that will be invaluable for my contemporary crime novels.

Then next month I will be attending a week long workshop given by James Frey, author of How to Write a Damn Good Novel and How to Write a Damn Good Mystery, both writing books in my top 5. I'm really looking forward to it, and even though committing to the workshop is taking a hit out of my finances I hadn't planned on, I couldn't pass up such a golden opportunity to learn from one of the industries best. I'll eat beans for a month, I think it's worth it.

Next year I already have plans to go to Left Coast Crime in Santa Fe in March, and to Los Angeles in April, possibly to go to RT, but if not to the conference, I intend to spend a month there for research purposes.

I'm not wealthy by any means, and I'm sure others would look at such expenditures as foolish. I see it as an important step in my desire to be a better writer, To produce finer prose and tell better stories. I'm willing to invest my time and money toward that goal. I guess if I had to answer my own question, the answer would be "As far as I can."

What about you? How far would you go for your career?

P.A. Brown
GK Parker

1 comment:

Pat Marinelli said...

Pat, like you I send years working a day job so I could go to conferences and learn about writing. I learned enough to publish some short stories, write loads of articles, to accept a position teaching commercial fiction classes for 7 years at the local college, and to edit two anthologies. I learn something new almost every day that helps improve my writing, only now I do it online most of the time.

Check out my 3 Crime Scene: New Jersey anthologies donation to Lee's Writers Police Academy raffle. We NJ girls take our LEOs and PI very seriously. If I were physically able, I'd be right there too, but my athritis won't let me go. I know it would be too much for me and I'd have trouble getting around. I hope you have a wonderful time. I know you will learn much there and have a great time doing so. I've met Lee in person and he's great.

So how far would I go? As far as I am physcially capable.