It’s true that if you surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to do, and who care about you and encourage you, it can alter your course. It’s been true for me. Ever since I started hosting the Women At Woodstock Writers Retreat years ago, I’ve had ongoing conversations with writers from all over the country about their work, and mine; about opportunities and techniques; about the possibilities of life as a writer. One of those many inspiring and encouraging women told me about the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony and the residencies they offer. She urged me to apply.
So I did.
The application required not only a writing sample and a writer’s statement, but letters of recommendation. I asked two of my writer friends, both published authors with several novels to their names, and both of whom have read and critiqued my work. They jumped to and submitted their recommendation letters within days.
I feel so lucky to announce that Dorland offered me a week-long writer’s residency this coming spring. In March, I will be right here, looking out over the mountains, writing in solitude. Heaven. With my first published short story to my name – “Changing Lanes,” published earlier this year in the Noyo River Review, and now this residency, I think I’m actually on my way as a writer. This is what I said I wanted to do. This is what I’ve been encouraged to do by my fellow writers in the Women At Woodstock community, by my husband, and by my daughters. And this is what I am doing. I may not be a New York Times bestselling author (yet!), but I couldn’t be happier or more grateful.