The other INKers can chime in on what they found the most helpful among Jay's many useful comments and observations on the craft. For my part, I was heartened by his adapting his writing methods as he evolves as a writer so that he continues to grow as a writer, because he has already achieved what all of us in the group aspire towards: publication. It was just another reminder that publication is not a finish line. I was also encouraged to finish my works-in-progress before I start new projects, having now limited how many I'm working on at a time. Much of what Jay said reinforced the hard-won knowledge I'm taking out of this year's attempts at learning my writing habits.
Jay, Kami, Steve, and Carissa (photo by C.S.)
Kami and Jay discuss books while Carissa looks on (photo by C.S.)
After Jay's departure, we gathered in the library (our usual meeting hang out) to continue the discussion of writing, specifically what we learned during the past year, which Carole so aptly described as a the year of growing pains. We are coming out of this year of growth with fresh perspectives and a new dedication not only to INK but to our individual careers. And I believe every one of us is now focused on the idea that writing is our career.
Close to midnight, we all made the choice to submit a short story to each quarterly contest held by Writers of the Future. It started with our goading Carole to submit one of her pieces and somehow turned into a "hey, we should all do that" sort of decision that is typically for us. So for the next two weeks we will all be in the stages of completing, revising, and polishing a short story. It will be fun to see what story each of us submits.
We also have updated our pictures for the blog (re: side bar), added some new material, and are all now accounted for here (welcome at last, Steve!).
In all, it was a motivating, encouraging, and energizing meeting even beyond what our normal get togethers produce. Jay's contribution to the successful meeting cannot be emphasized enough and we are so thankful he spent the time with us.
*Agenda items completed from the previous meeting: updates on the blog, group e-mail created, business cards ordered and distributed, meeting reminder e-mails engaged, yearly goals spelled out.
*Up next on our meeting agenda: the group submissions to WotF, submissions for the next meeting, building a FAQ for the group, and an invitation to a possible new member.