My wife is an entrepreneur. She has a web design business, a jewelry business and an Etsy store. About ten years ago, she got involved with Quattro University, an entrepreneurial college. After a while, I got involved with her. In addition to weekend meetings, we even attended one of their week-long conferences in San Diego.
I saw it as a way of making extra money. Possibly enough to quit my job and have time to write. See the problem there? I was letting life (the need to make money) get in the way of doing what I loved.
One of the recurring themes of Quattro was to do what you love. There were various tests, with a hundred questions or more, to determine your priorities, what was most important to you. What Dr. John DeMartini calls your “highest values”. I heard this message over and over again. Then one day it finally hit me, I wasn’t doing what I loved. I was waiting for when the time would be right. But the time would never be right if I kept putting it off. It was hurting too much not to write. That’s when I decided to get serious about my writing.
Shortly after that, I came down with the Avian Flu. I was in the hospital for two days, and home for about a week and a half in quarantine. Getting up to go to the kitchen winded me, but I could sit at my desk all day and write. I pulled out a Christmas story I had written years ago and started rewriting that. Then I started developing an interest in steampunk. With Loscon having a steampunk theme, I started writing the earliest version of my steampunk screenplay. Then I wrote a CGI animation script.
Somewhere in there, I passed by the GLAWS table at Loscon and joined. With their help, especially their critique groups, my writing began to improve and I had encouragement from fellow writers. More importantly, I was back on track with what I loved to do.
I’m a writer, not an entrepreneur, but a lot of the lessons I learned at Quattro still serve me well, one of which was to hang out with people you want to be like. GLAWS offers a lot of opportunities to do that, both at conferences and Saturday Special Speaker Events.
Not having any contacts in the publishing field or movie/TV industry, another lesson has served me well. If you want to make contacts and network, show up early to events, offer to help, stay late and help to break down. By doing this, many agents, editors, publishers and instructors know who I am and they know me by name. I was even Vice President of GLAWS for two years because of this advice. Not bad for someone who is not all that great at networking.
Dennis Amador Cherry
64th blog completed.
First Steampunk novel: 71,747. I just got my second ProCritique yesterday. Now I can start my final revision with his notes, the previous ProCritique notes and the notes from my critique group. I plan to do at least one chapter a week, but I suspect some chapters will go faster.
First Steampunk screenplay: Updated with notes from the novelization.
Second Steampunk screenplay: 114 pages
Second Steampunk novel: 0 words.
The My Little Pony episode, “Canterlot Boutique”, reminds me of that stage of my life. In it, Rarity, a fashionista, opens her second shop in Canterlot, the capital of Equestria. She creates a dress that is an overnight success. But then her store manager, Sassy Saddles, has her make hundreds of the same dress. With no time to be creative, she almost quits and closes the shop. The problem was that her store manager was a business pony with no understanding of what the creative mind needs. For a while there, I guess I forgot what my own creative mind needed.