Friday, July 03, 2009

Embrace Your Independence

Every month I get the opportunity to address my fellow CRW members as the editor of our newsletter, the Final Draft. July is always an exciting month for me, and this year is no different. July means fireworks, flags and cookouts...but it also means RWA Nationals!

I'd planned to go this year, but I got engaged. With a wedding looming, I had to make the hard decision not to trek to DC and explore it with my now fiance. I was so excited that I'd get to show him a city he'd never seen, the capital I'd visited twice and enjoyed exploring. History is in every inch of the city, almost literally...and I couldn't wait for him to see DC's wonders. Someday that will happen...and the most exciting thing about passing through won't be a hammer someone dropped on the interstate (aka a serious road hazard)!

Here's what I decided to share in my Editorially Speaking:

July 4th a.k.a Independence Day is a day to remember our forefathers and how they fought to create a new nation with its own rights and beliefs. Now I bet you’re wondering, “How does that relate to writing?”

As a writer, you can’t always follow the fold. You must strike out on your own course. Editors are on the hunt for something different, though “old timers” will tell you they won’t stray too far from the norm. Editors want just enough oomph to give their line-up a bit of spice or the proverbial breath of fresh air. However, in these “tea party” times, you need to play the publishing game close to your chest.

Like our ancestors, we need to have courage. We need to believe in ourselves, or at least rub elbows with peers who can bolster our way of thinking. Those people, like the Declaration’s signers, must be of like mind, but also able to think outside the box. A written document can become stale, especially after dozens of edits, so you must have someone to lend fresh eyes. People who forge their own path, or at least deviate from the masses, are problem solvers. They’re people who want to see a change happen, and that can be done in writing…hence the market’s continual shift.

As our governing body did in 1776, we need to be at the heart of evolution, with our fingers on the pulse of change...which means RWA Nationals is the place to be in July! Be heard, be seen, and above all feed your curiosity in DC.

On Saturday, the 4th, take a few moments not only to thank your stars that you are in the US, but that you also have the ability to embrace your dreams in a place that was founded for freedom. So many Americans take their "fortune" for granted...but on the 4th, use what you've been given to rebel. Write...even if it's a sentence, a paragraph about a new memory you're made, or the beginning of something more that will be your mark on history. Many have toiled through immeasurable hardships, but they never gave up even in the bleakest moment to see their dream become reality. Jot down those words locked inside your mind to give your dream a fighting chance, and if you get the chance to "storm" DC, be brave and make what you imagine a reality!

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