Friday, April 25, 2008

Unpacking an Acronym

I went all the way to Inverness on the faith that NALD's annual literature development day would be someplace where I belonged. There was a great deal of optimism in that since I am still trying to figure out who I am and what I am meant to be doing here. So I showed up the only American, non-committed, unpublished writer in the group and pinned a name badge on with the title, "writer." NALD--National Association for Literature development comprises librarians, writers, publishers, and people who support them and their interconnections.

Fortunately, it is a group that could accommodate cheeky interlopers with a fondness for words. I met them the evening before the workshops at a little tapas restaurant. After sharing a bottle of red wine and conversation over tapas, I knew I liked these folks and hoped that they would take me in, an orphan in a wordstorm looking for a safe haven.

It was the first non-academic workshop I had attended since leaving corporate America. I was relieved that it was much less self conscious and pretentious than much of the training I had endured when I lived in a cubicle. The workshop was a genuine conversation among people who had things to say. It was purposeful. They talked about their projects and their challenges and successes.

I learned what such organizations as the Scottish Book Trust really do and where to get resources to teach poetry to an after school group of girls in my local community assocation. I also learned about initiatives for mentoring young writers and getting writers into schools to work with teachers and librarians there.

I also learned about small publishers--a thread in my working life that got set aside because I needed to earn enough money to support myself and my daughter. Literature, small publishing, libraries are still not good ways to make money, but having heard from several people and organizations who are making it work, I came away energized and more committed to earning the title on my badge.


At 10:44 PM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

I'm very glad you made thoses contacts and got that encouragement. A meeting of people with common passions does that.

At 5:11 AM, Blogger TerriRainer said...

Once again, I find myself jealous!

You should check and see if there are any informal writer's groups that meet in your area. It's a great way to meet people and maintain a constant support system for your writing.

:) Terri

At 7:31 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Thanks, ampiggy, you know what a social critter I am.

At 7:33 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Thanks, Terri for tips re writing group. It is thanks to writing group that I discovered NALD but the writing group seems to have fallen apart lately. Any tips for how to restart it? I think I have checked to send my email address to you for more comments. Would love to hear about what worked for you.

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Hayden said...

It took me a long time to realize that a writer is one who writes.

Not, as I told myself before, "one-who-writes-well-and-has-

congratulations on your courage!

At 8:30 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Oh, Hayden, that is the best description of it I have ever heard. Yup. For wquite some time I wanted to write and get published because, well, as you say that seemed like what it was all about. I read Bird by Bird last week and think that altho I am not too enthusiastic about the book, she does a very good job of disabusing readers of the magic of publishing.


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