Apparently, my muse prefers to enjoy the outdoors and other adventures during the summer months and when it comes to writing, I am rather at a loss for words (so to speak) during these busy days. This is the time of year most writers start to question why they continue to work so hard because, in spite of the popular opinion that anyone can write a book…and they probably can…it’s hard work that takes up a huge chunk of your life, especially after marketing is added as a constant obligation.
I happen to be a Charter Member of the Public Safety Writers Association, joining back in 1994 when Roger Fulton founded it as The Police Writers Club. This is a wonderful group of writers who are former or present law enforcement officers, firemen, medical first responders, dispatchers or those closely connected to those professions. Once a year, in July, they hold a conference at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas to socialize, confer on various topics and give awards for the annual PSWA Writing Competition. Of course, not all of us can fly to Vegas and attend this wonderful event, but we can provide entries in the contest to be judged by our peers. I have entered for the last four years and can tell you I never expect to win anything, but am always anxious to find out who did and what they won for. So, as soon as the conference ends, we await the e-mail that reveals the winners.
This year, I am honored to have won two awards in the Creative Nontechnical Published category, giving me nine (9) awards in the last four years. It’s always exhilarating to see your name on the list. And that, my friends, is what keeps those of us who begin to drag our creative writing feet , hanging in there. It inspires us to “keep on keepin’ on” to know that other writers and published authors think something you created is good enough to be recognized in an honorable manner. In addition, awards are a real asset to use in your marketing. There are nine different categories in the competition and this year 27 awards were given to 23 writers. I have no clue as to how many entries were submitted.
To me, the most outstanding feature about the PSWA is, even though we compete with one another in this contest, nobody wants to see another lose and we are all happy when you win. In addition, whenever you have a question about any subject whatsoever, you can put it on the list-serv and one or more people will give you help immediately. In today’s world, it is a rare attribute to see everyone wanting only the best for others and never, ever diligently searching to find something, no matter how small or mundane, about which to point out a flaw. This makes me very proud to be listed among the members.