Writing Wise Woman

"Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction." John C. Crosby

When I first decided I must return to my first love of writing, I was still teaching but knew I needed something more to fill my spirit.  Not that I didn't have enough in my life what with a busy family life, a husband, a social life and work.  I wanted something just for me.

Through the help of a friend who set up a lunch date, I met with a local author who told me about RWA Romance Writers of America.  She indicated I'd learn much about the genre of writing and also marketing and the publishing field itself if I joined the organization.  She mentioned the national conference which would be less than a month away and gave me the information.  Throughout the lunch, she shared her experiences of first getting published and what the life of a writer on deadline was.  She gave me so much that day as I left our lunch with a fire in my soul to learn how best to write the stories I'd been having in my head since I was small.

I never saw this woman again, though I sent her a thank you note for all her help. Her words set my feet on a path which has been a long one, not an easy one, but one I'd never exchange for a different one.  She was the first wise woman of novel writing in my life.

Needless to say, I went to the conference and learned about WisRWA, the Wisconsin chapter of the organization and joined that also.  Throughout the years, when I was still teaching and writing only in the summers, each book to develop another writing skill, I learned so much from the members of the state chapter. 

A few years into my membership, when I was struggling with a particular manuscript and wondering whether I should even continue with it, another multi-published member offered to read my work and give me a critique.  She was a woman with many responsibilities as she also had a separate career from her writing, a husband, family and home.  Her generosity of time and talent again nudged me to understand better what was hampering me in my work.  I'm still reminded of her comments and guidance many years later as I start out a project and at times when I hit a crossroads and wonder what do I do to make this better story better?

These two aren't the only RWA/WisRWA members who've appeared as wise women to me as I've moved through the years.  These organizations have so many "Wise Women" who spread their knowledge to those with ears and hearts open to soak up the wisdom.

My grandfather always said that when you get help of whatever kind you are honor-bound to do the same for someone else in the future.  I've been blessed with many Wise Women who've been there for me when I needed direction.  I only hope I can do as well for those I meet who need that Wise Woman touch.

"The most important single influence in the life of a person is another person...who is worthy of emulation."
Paul D. Shafer