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By Patti Beaven

September was a difficult month for me. All summer I had been putting together a presentation for a two-hour workshop I’d be giving at a national conference. I joined Toastmasters and writing critique groups to help perfect my talking points. I held practice sessions for other members of said groups to fine tune my presentation. I was working on my presentation, tweaking and fine-tuning it until the morning of my workshop. I wish I could say the presentation went without a hitch, but that would be an utter lie. It was very difficult to get audience participation. While I was excited (and nervous and anxious and jittery), I just couldn’t get the participants to share my enthusiasm. I finished my workshop fifteen minutes early, but because the conference itself was running late, no one stayed to talk with me or give me feedback.

I left the conference feeling as if I am not cut out to be a presenter. It was somewhat motivating to realize this, as it meant to me that I could simply focus solely on writing my books, rather than trying to jump-start a business of Zookeeper Wellness and General Public Fitness programs (utilizing the principles of zookeeping). “The Zookeeper’s Guide to Fitness”, “ZooFit: Successful Fitness Through Conservation”, and “Poach Eggs, Not Rhinos” should be my focus, not seminars, not bootcamps, not personal training.

This realization was driven home when the programs I submitted to the local Parks and Rec got literally ZERO participants. I was able to convince the program coordinator to go ahead and join me for my bootcamp, but all my other programs produced absolutely no interest from the public. While this frees up a good chunk of my time for writing, I was still disappointed.

So, I’m back home, hoping to write my ass off and finish at least one of my books by next summer. Only, I have absolutely NO motivation to get on my computer and type out words. Last time I checked, getting a book finished does require some effort in making words string together to form sentences, paragraphs, complete thoughts.

And lo and behold, my good friends from the Captain Whidbey Inn co-works told me they are starting a new community for writers. Their enthusiasm and passion for the group is contagious. It’s EXACTLY what I need right now. More than writing groups, they are offering writing inspirations.

As with all new groups, I know taking off will take some time. But if you have the chance to attend a co-works, or discussion group, or even a social get-together with this new community, I’m sure you, too, will find the inspiration that resides in all of us.

In the coming months, I will share some of my experiences with North Sound Writers, share some of my writings, and share some of my knowledge as I trudge through this writing process with all of you.

Have fun and happy writing!

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