UVa Club of Richmond gets a lesson in Publishing

May 23, 2013

Staring at a blank screen and looking for the right words to write is the bane of every writer, aspiring and experienced alike. "How do I start this?" "How will it end?" "What am I trying to say?" "How do I get the creative juices flowing?" And even worse, "Am I even good enough to be a writer?" There are many questions and confusions over the right way to write and even when you are done, manuscript in hand, quandaries about how to get it published? With the introduction of eBooks, the publishing industry has changed, markets are different and the ways we obtain information are in constant transformation. In our brave new world we are finding ourselves adjusting to the new tools and methodologies out there to get our books published. To answer these questions and address the concerns of new aspiring writers I had the opportunity to sit in on a discussion at the U.Va. Alumni Club of Richmond about writing and publishing - presented by our very own Iris Magazine editor, Ginger Moran. Ginger is a published author whose novel, The Algebra of Snow, lends her experience in seeing a book from conception to publication. Her first advice to all writers is one I have heard before from my ninth grade English teacher. It resonates louder now for me because I appreciate the power of its simplicity. 'If you want to be a writer, write!' Meaning, don't wait for an epiphany, get your thoughts out on paper and write. Creative moments come when we least expect it, but to write is to open our minds for their arrival. Personally I find that journaling has helped to organize my thoughts and tap into that creative side of my brain. Her second piece of advice is to learn for yourself if you are truly a writer. To do this, try stopping. Stop writing for a while and see if you don't have an urge to put ink to paper. In an interview with J.K. Rowling, Oprah asked if she was done with writing. Since she now stands poised as the highest earning author of all time why should she attempt to write any more? Her answer to Oprah was simple, "I can't stop." Writing needs to be who you are before making grandiose plans for being successful. The third bit of wisdom for writers is to read. Ginger believes that to be a writer you must be a reader. There is something in our brains that only seems to be accessed when we read and write. To write without reading limits the creative process and only makes writing cumbersome. Ginger spoke on a few more topics, which include her work at the ground-breaking U.Va. Women’s Center that helps U.Va. students put their academic learning to work, finding a publisher and marketing your new novel. She offers tips and advice on becoming a published author through her own blogs on www.gingermoran.com Good luck to all of you aspiring authors out there. Don't give up, learn as much as you can, and keep those creative juices flowing. For more information about the UVa Club of Richmond or to attend any of their future events follow the link provided. By Jyle Dupuis

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