I knew about the Mt. Diablo Branch of CWC for some time before joining. I had already been commercially published in the 1980s—a three-volume nonfiction work under the series title, Adult-to-Adult (Winston Press, Minneapolis, MN). Today, that title might sound sexy. Not then. The series was meant for Christian discussion groups. Since they sold well, I thought, “This writing/publishing thing is easy.”
I still didn’t think the series stamped my ticket as a “professional writer.” To be a real writer I undertook the task of writing a real book, a . . . drum roll . . . novel. It took eight years of writing and editing to arrive at a finished product and secure a literary agent. More editing delays. Finally, the book sold to a mass-market paperback house in Canada.
Any writer who knows the thrill of ripping open a box and seeing the cover of that first published book—although this wasn’t—will identify with my gut response. There it was! A Love Forbidden. A novel. A real book. With my name on the cover. I don’t mind telling you that I cried tears of authorial pride—and relief. I had finally met my own artificial standard for joining CWC.
I soon learned that, during those years of solitary labor, I would have benefitted greatly by association with a professional writing community. Such influence would have improved the quality of my writing. Just walking into the room for our monthly gettogethers, I am energized by the creative vibes electrifying the atmosphere. Dozens of novels and short stories buzz around inside the attendees, all in various drafts and phases of development. Memoirs, biographies and, of course, the imaginings of talented poets in our midst further ratchet up the voltage. I always leave having experienced a revival of my own creative juices. Over the years, dozens of my professional colleagues in CWC MD have also become dear and valued friends.
So, whenever I’m asked why I belong to the California Writers Club and faithfully attend almost every meeting . . . and why I have given back by serving two terms as president and still do as a board member, I reply with sincerity: “This is about the only place I can go every month where people understand the Writer-Me. When we converse about aspects of our creative calling, they know what I’m talking about.” Every writer needs this kind of affirmation.
Note: To date, I have published 12 books and adapted three of my seven novels into screenplays, which I currently market on InkTip.com. My most recent book is The Soul of Art (nonfiction). Another nonfiction work-in-progress is grinding its way through a tortuous first draft.
(c) 2017 by Alfred J. Garrotto
All rights reserved
All rights reserved