Linda Nance NEA Writers
We hope that by gathering together and sharing, we might offer and receive encouragement, support, information and individual growth assisting us to accomplish our goals and make dreams come true. It is my desire that each person find something of interest and benefit from these meetings of friends reaching out to one another sharing a common interest and goals. If you love to write, want to write, are published or write for your own pleasure or just have an interest or want to share with others, we hope to form an interesting group to grow, share, learn, and reach out.
That’s it. I had an idea and hoped it would work out to be something that might really help others. It seems like a long time ago, but it really was not that many years ago I joined a writers group for the first time. I had always dreamed of being published but had so much to learn. I had no idea where to start so I started by trying to learn as much as I could.
In the group I found such warmth and supportive encouragement. Members would often share by reading things that they had written or we would do a writing project. I found those to be interesting and stimulating. When the co-founder of the group could no longer continue with the meetings, he asked for my help. I tried my best but the group dwindled and I did too. I was so tired and it became difficult to go out at all. I did not realize I had cancer. I have had so many health problems that I thought it was something that would pass or I could deal with.
I became desperate to see some of what I had written published. I have explained before what it took to see and hold my first book. Since I knew almost nothing I had so much to learn. I went to the library and would research many things. They were ever so helpful. I tried to learn as much as I could about traditional publishing. Several authors even offered helpful advice and many sites on the internet were filled with information. I began trying to find an agent.
Feeling time was short when I realized how sick I really was, I decided I would or could not wait and would self-publish. I began to try to learn as much as I could. There were so many things to consider. Every company made it sound so easy and like all of your dreams could come true…but… I wanted to know more. I began to contact authors who had published by this company or that and found them to be amazingly helpful and filled with information.
I began to see patterns of some things I found disconcerting. Many told stories of vast amounts of money they had spent for books they could not sell. Some had prices so high they could hardly afford to buy their own books let alone sell them to make a profit. Others had terrible experiences with things they had agreed to from their so called publishers, such as large quantities of books they had to purchase….they had to buy their own books. Some had complaints about the quality of the printing. Most spoke of the promises made, concerning how successful they were soon to be if they just….sign this and do that or buy this or pay for this and pay for that and…and…and…
I could go on about what all I learned, but I will just tell of what I decided to try and how it worked out. I decided to try CreateSpace for several reasons. Those I spoke with that had books published through them seemed satisfied and some even pleased with their services. The books were reasonably priced. Why publish a book no one can or will afford to buy? They did not make wild promises. They clearly explained many things including about how they would assist me if I wanted, in promotions and about all of the services they had to offer and the costs. They are a business and they offered a service and I hoped they would provide in quality what I had chosen. You pick what you want from them and clearly know what it will cost. I got what I paid for. I was not disappointed. They treated me honestly and professionally. When I first saw the proof I was so happy it made me cry.
I don’t have to tell you that I lived through the surgery since I am here visiting with you now. I will say, that it was the most difficult and painful surgery I have ever endured. Recovery was an ordeal of determination to survive. I did not give up and continued trying. I got the second novel out and loved the book when I saw it too. I was on the internet at home by then and learning so many new things.
I realized and appreciated that there were so many people who had helped me so much. I have heard about how mean some people can be on the internet, but I have found so much care, compassion, understanding, support and assistance there are just not enough words to tell. There were those that stayed in contact with me from when we first discovered the cancer and are with me still offering prayers and encouragement. They are my friends. Some may laugh and say they are not real friends…just internet friends. Someone who cares and is there for you is a friend, and they are only a thought or click away.
I thought it would be a marvelous idea to start a writer’s group with that same thought in mind. I wanted it to be a group of people helping people to make their dreams come true. I wanted it to be a way we could help with information as well as the actual issues involved in writing. No one would have to sign and become official members or pay dues. They would have to have an interest and be willing to try to help others as they could. I contacted some of the members of the original group to share my idea with them and they expressed interest. As soon as I had recovered enough and got strong enough to go out and do it, I planned to try to make it something special.
The NEA Writer’s Group was on it’s way. I announced a day and time and location to hold the first meeting at a local bookstore. I began to hear from others asking me about the meeting because they received notification that the day was different. It was the same place and time but two days earlier. I explained I had not changed the day. The NEA Writer’s Group….right? That is right. Finally I was contacted by the friend I had told all about my idea, and she wanted to be sure I would be coming to the new group that was starting and they would be happy to let me help them. She needed me to tell people about it and that I was part of it. She explained that they were important people and knew published authors. She had met them at a writer’s conference and told them all about my idea. They were going to collect and share the expenses to have guest speakers and pay dues for the cost of the group.
I felt so betrayed. I felt as if they had taken my idea and scheduled their meeting two days before mine at the same place and time making it appear they were me, and then had the audacity to ask me to provide the members and use my name endorsing a group that was something I wanted no part of, let alone for my name to be used in connection with.
I explained that and then after the first meeting, chose to change the day we met so people who were interested in both would not have to choose one or the other or spend that many hours in meetings.
They changed their day. I changed it a third time and so did they. There was no way it was coincidental. I moved the meeting to a local restaurant and did not tell any of them at the time. It had become very difficult to do something that would not be easy to begin with.
At one point I had contacted the library and found out I was already scheduled for meetings there and had been having meetings there. I asked her if she was serious. She knows me. I explained I did not and had not had any meetings there. She advised me that they had been told it was my group and even asked if it was my group. When I told her from then on if I did not talk to them, it was not me. I wanted nothing to do with them. We continued to meet at the restaurant.
One person demanded we meet at the library. At first he demanded we join the other group and be part of their group. I became irritated and told him I would never consider it and did not want my name even associated with it. Finally he demanded we meet there. That is what he wanted and we were to do it. I told him no. I actually explained 'no' in a little more detail. He did not speak to me for awhile after that. Time went by.
I stopped by the library one day to see the speaking and book reading of one of our members. Carol Dabney did a wonderful program with live music as well as educational and entertaining moments and sharing her children's book...... and ran into some people who worked there that I knew when it concluded and I was leaving. They thought I was still in my meeting. I had no idea what they were talking about. The man had told them he was making arrangements for me and my group. It was more difficult than I ever dreamed just to be me and not have everyone else claiming to be me. The NEA Writers..... He had been a member of the original group, so they had believed him. I explained it without hesitation to him and them.
At our next meeting I had an idea I thought looked and sounded so self-serving but it would stop some of the problems of who and what we were. I would change the name to the Linda Nance NEA Writers. If you want to know who I am... if it is not Linda Nance it is not me. What we are is something you might want to stop by and join in and see.
They had bragged about paying to have guest speakers who were published authors. All you had to do to be a published author is to pay the money to have the book put into print. I was not impressed. I had two books in print…would they like to pay me? They wanted me to do the ‘helping,’ pay dues and give up my own idea.
The members of this group are an amazing bunch of people and authors. We were able to share ideas, information, inspiration, encouragement and it is only the beginning. So much has developed in this short time. I now have 5 books published and 4 are in e-book. Another member has a novel and two children’s books and another she is working on. One lady has two children’s books and does special Christmas programs for the local school children. Another has amazed me in so many ways. She has a children’s book out that is so inspirational it has been featured in many publications and she has done so many special programs. She has such a talent in music and her own CD’s. She has a second children’s book and was having problems finding an illustrator. She claimed it was my paintings I used for my books covers that inspired her and you should see the whole collection of paintings she has now.
I get so excited when I see good things happening for good people. There are others who have worked so hard helping and also on their writing projects I have never seen in person. I could go on for hours and never fully explain how spectacular they are. They are friends. They are people who make a difference. They are people who care. No matter what name it has... they are the writers group.
I started a page for the writers group online. If we can not get together and the miles are many, it is a place we can share many things of interest. We can share news of our projects, our questions, or problems and maybe someone will know of something that might help. We can share pictures of our events, book covers, art and more. We can share so many things.
People do not have to join the page or click like on the page to stop by and visit. I want it to be a way to reach out beyond the miles of location and know that friends who help and care are only a click away.
Who and What are we? We are people who want to help where we can and enjoy sharing with others. We are working to make our dreams come true and hope yours do too.
It may seem strange to use my name in the group Linda Nance NEA Writers but it works. The pages changed and I need to find pictures for the page. The big picture that goes across as a banner….what could I do? I have pictures of my books but I want it to be for everyone. I ran across a photo I took in our backyard of the dogwood tree in bloom. It is so beautiful to see the earth come to life in the Spring, full of flowers and trees like that. It is like new hope in bloom. I chose that. It may not be a book or about writing but it is about beauty and hope. I needed a small picture. Many pages had logos. What could I use. The photo I had been using was of some of the members but they were not all in the photo and so many are from on the internet. I got out my pen and a piece of paper and think this will work. Now I wonder if it needs to be darker? I will be back soon and hope you all have a wonderful day...