That’s what I call it, anyway.
We started out there a couple years ago, meeting at a place on the east side of Lake Washington for a Saturday afternoon to talk business with some other writers we knew. It’s not a reader/critique group, because those have a tendency to devolve into mendacity and outright hostility, more often than not.
No, this is us getting together to talk about the business of being an indie writer. (TradPubs are also welcome, and many of the group have been NY published at some point in their career, but this is about the future.) Many of the group (myself included now, but not until recently) are OWN/Coast writers (people who have taken workshops down in Lincoln City, Oregon from Kris and Dean) and we share what we’re doing, what’s working, what’s not working, etc.
Cover theory gets discussed (they evolve slowly but continuously, so you have to refresh your covers every 3-6 years, depending on your genre) on occasion. What we’ve learned about writing copy. What books we’re planning or working on and how to genre them (you’d be amazed how hard it is for some writers to categorize themselves.)
Originally, just genre fiction writers, because that’s what we are, most of us, but I know people. And come across people. Through one of my step-daughters, I also know lots of musicians. And through one of them, I met a neat photographer-lady and managed to convince her to join us last month, and then again yesterday (without running screaming from the restaurant either time, even).
What I have realized is that we are all artists. Writers tend to be more introverted than musicians, but for them, that’s mostly the act of having to always be ON if you want to be a rock star. Or whatever. Writers are more like mushrooms.
But she came, and was telling us some of her stories from the early 90’s, when she was deeply involved in the Seattle music scene (as in, she might have known Chris personally in passing, like so many of them did). His death hit her hard, but she also realized that she has this tremendously interesting insight into the history of the early Grunge Years, because she actually worked at Sub-pop records during some of it.
And she has amazing voice to her storytelling.
Let me put it to you this way, she had a spellbinding, utterly mesmerizing story about filing. As in putting crap into files from the piles of junk everywhere. And had us on the edge of our seats.
And she has gotten the itch to tell some of these stories. (We’ll edit out all the names later, but I’m hoping she does a full-on historical version first, and then we’ll file off the serial numbers for folks wanting to be just entertained by someone who was there.)
So, yay, awesome sauce.
On top of that, I was talking to one of the lawyers at work (I work in a law firm-ish) about hobbies, and she said she wanted to create cookbooks. Not write them, but actually make them in the formatting sense. So I hooked her up with Fabulous Publisher Babe’s(tm) book on publishing and she read it over the weekend. Loved it, apparently. I’m sure I’ll hear more details tomorrow at work, but I invited her to join us at the next Writers Lunch. I’m pretty sure she’ll try to make it, because it apparently opened up a new work of ideas for her, and my sweetie might be able to help her realize them.
And that was pretty much the whole reason we do these lunches. To work with other artists, other creatives, to help them find an outlet, and to make money from it. To learn from them what tricks work to make money. Each little thing might only be worth nickels, but them nickels add up, and them nickels spend. If you have enough of them coming in (little trickles turn into streams of revenue if you work it) then you don’t have to have the ugly day job. Or perhaps any day job at all.
And I got to thinking about it today and realized that, while we average about six people at the average lunch, last month we had thirteen. And probably about twenty on the general invite list but that’s only because some folks we’ve talked to aren’t that into it, or don’t see the benefit, or whatever.
But I wanted to put this word out. Folks in the sound of my voice, or close enough. We do this one Saturday each month. 1pm-3pm. Food. Chat. Business. Contact. Ideas.
If you are in the Seattle-ish area, we meet right now up in Lynnwood (north end, not far from Alderwood Mall). If you are interested in joining us, ping me or Fabulous Publisher Babe for details. Next one is June 17. The weekend after CampCon.
We’d love to see you. And see how we can help you achieve your dreams.
shade and sweet water,
West of the Mountains, WA