Writers in Kyoto (WiK) got off to a great start on Sunday with a very well attended launch party. In an illuminating talk our guest speaker, Japan Times and RocketNews24 columnist, Amy Chavez, gave us the benefit of her own experiences as a full-time freelance writer and some good pieces of advice for those considering a similar career. Personally I have a great deal of respect for anyone who manages to make their living as a professional writer, so I was very interested in what she had to say.
Amy’s talk was at times thoughtful and at times humourous as she told us of her own struggles to get published. One message that came through very clear was that if you want to be a writer, you have to be very determined to make a real go of it. You also need to be clear what your aims are. Most writers won’t make their fortune from writing, but the upside is that you do get to influence people, and society at large will be affected by what you write. As a writer you bear a responsibility to your readers, and this should not to be abused. Sincerity of purpose is essential.
Another excellent piece of advice is that if you want to be a writer – you need to read. You need to read the kind of books that you want to write, and you need to read a lot of them – for they will both teach and inspire you. I took her at her word on this and bought a copy of her own book right after the talk!
It was a pleasant evening and also very nice to meet Amy in person. Congratulations to WiK founder and organiser, John Dougill for his successful launch of this fledgling group! Long may it prosper!
For more information about Writers in Kyoto check their website here: http://www.writersinkyoto.com/