Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Living in the Otherworld

For the past few days, I've been in another world.

It's pleasant. I'm learning things. I'm meeting new people. And it's making me stretch my achy brain in new ways.

I'm spending four days at a workshop, learning how to think like a publisher.

Not focusing on writing, plotting, character development, but learning the other half; how to get your book or your writing into a form for people to read or hear. It's like that old question about a tree falling with no one around to hear...if you write the world's best prose (or poetry) does anyone know?

In today's world of communication, that question has become moot. Now, with the self-publishing platforms available, you can upload your book or short story or memoir to share with the world. And you can even make money at it.

There are 20 people at the workshop, way north on the Oregon Coast. This is beautiful area of beaches, driftwood, starfish-encrusted tidal pools, sea lions, cliffs and forests. And it's reached by only one two-lane highway, clogged like a bathtub drain with vacationers, campers, bicyclists and RVs.

So when I tell you that there are attendees from Maryland, Indiana, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, you know there are a lot of people who want to share themselves with the world.

Some of us are already professional writers. Some of us are beginning. Some of us are thinking about beginning.

Some of us are writing fiction, everything from fantasy and sci-fi to romance.

Some of us are writing non-fiction, everything from economics to wellness.

And we are all here to learn.

People talk today about multitasking and how many projects they can handle at the same time. I'm not sure multitasking is a good thing.

This four days has been with people from divergent backgrounds, with a wide array of interests, who put their "real" lives on hold an agreed to focus on one subject. Everyone hears the information from their own perspective, and everyone will use that information in their own way, but for four days of foggy mornings and glorious, crisp blue-sky afternoons we are together in the otherworld, creating new and shared experiences.

Wherever your otherworld is, and whatever you want to do there, I recommend visiting every so often. The "realies" are necessary, the "realies" are true, the "realies" ground us, but the otherworld lets us stretch our mental wings and soar for a time, unencumbered.

Michele Drier


  1. I have no idea why my comments aren't coming through, but let's try it again: Sounds wonderful! On the Oregon coast, even -- one of the most beautiful places around!

  2. https://www.behance.net/gallery/46450923/_