Friday, June 18, 2010

We've come a long way, Baby

I received my 10 year pin from the Professional Writers Association of Canada today. It's pretty hard to reach any milestone with out a bit of reminiscing, so here are my Top 10 PWAC lessons/thoughts.

10. A decade ago, I had no idea how to write an invoice, what to charge a publication or how to write a query.

9. It's been 10 years since I met many of my PWAC pals. Do I dare name anyone in particular? Kate Merlin and I use to meet at the local park during the summer. Her kids played and I nursed my daughter. Then there was my first AGM in Montreal, when Trudy Kelly Forsythe, Tracey Carr and I -- strangers at the time -- drove together. Nothing like spending eight hours in a car with someone to get to know them!

8. Over the years, PWAC has taught me to be a confident entrepreneur. As an optimist who believes anything is possible if you work hard, giving me the tools to be successful in business helped fuel my optimism.

7. PWAC helped me to think big -- outside my town, outside my province, outside my country -- there are publications around the world seeking good writers. We just need let them know we're here.

6. The best chocolate of my life -- so far. A large group of us, including Doreen Pendgracs (and is anyone surprised that Doreen was involved?), were in a restaurant in Edmonton on the Sunday night, after the AGM had wrapped up. The chocolate crepe dessert we had that night was, dare I say, orgasmic.

5. It was through PWAC that I heard about a publishing company looking for writers for this series called Amazing Stories.

4. It was through PWAC that I learned a bit about how to fight book publishers that go under.

3. PWAC taught me how to read a contract. Trudy Kelly Forsythe and I, under a committee headed by Kevin Yarr, sifted through writing contracts that PWAC members from across the country sent in. The final report discussed what publishers are seeking in contracts, but the lesson for me was learning the language of contracts.

2. As the current moderator of PWAC's biz list, I've learned that I can't make everyone happy. I always suspected it, but the moderator's job has cemented it.

1. Without PWAC's never ending inspiration and idea-generating vitality, I'd probably be stuck in an office somewhere.

1 comment:

wizardofwords said...

What a great post, Allison! I, too, love PWAC. It's been 13 years for me as a member.

But belonging to the assn was the best thing I've done for my professional writing career. It has given me marvellous PD opportunities, kept me savvy on market trends and contract negotiations, given me plenty of work leads and ... introduced me to many terrific people like you!

My advice to any freelance writer out there is to join a professional assn. If they're Canadian, PWAC is the place to be. If they're from the US, I'd recommend the ASJA (based on favourable comments I've heard from friends.)