I was privileged to pay some money and take some brewery tours last weekend. Actually, I write with snark but there's truth in my snark. I don't think these breweries made money from our little tours. We had a good time and drank some good brews. Best, perhaps, is we heard from the brewery founders about how their efforts came to be. Therein lies another lesson for writers. Besides often being beer drinkers, writers and brewer have similar dreams.
The brewers told me they began by drinking beer. Writers begin by reading. Impressed with their experience, they find the desire to learn more about the craft and perhaps a dream to do. With writers, we dream of writing poetry, novels, short stories, essays, and books. But like writers, brewers learn their science and craft and set about creating their interpretations of a good beer. Like writers, it's an expression of what they've learned and an urge to share that learning.
With writers, we've uncovered tales, lessons, insights, whatever the writer is putting forward. Maybe it's just an addiction or a fun pastime. Perhaps our writer is therapy. More than one brewer went that route, brewing at home as a hobby and therapy from work pressures, making their own batches and sharing them with acquaintances. Said acquaintances, "That's good stuff. You should be selling this stuff."
Each brewmaster noted that they usually heard that after a few samples. They never put together the cause and effect of people drinking beer and become exuberantly gracious and complimentary....
Writers hear that. They write a story, share it with their family or a teacher, friends or class and others respond, "You wrote that? Wow, you're really talented!" And the writer is hooked.
Like us writers, the brewers liked what they heard. Deciding to believe what they heard, they took the plunge and opened a brewery. It's not unlike many other endeavors, from beginning businesses and services or inventing new devices, to playing music, dancing or singing. Vintners have taken this course, as have artists.
Part of my weekend was spent at Clay Folk. These are artists who create clay and ceramic art and dishes and sell them at a big fair. Like the brewers, they were people who loved what they were doing and wanted to share it with others while earning sufficient income to do it more frequently.
Sounds just like my writer's dream.
The brewers spoke of fairs where they learn and share. Writers have conferences, too, but I began to think how much of a writer conference is about selling services and knowledge to writers instead of writers giving others a sample of their wares. Yes, there are usually open mic affairs where you can sign up and read for three to five minutes before being belled away from the mic. There are book fairs where publishers and authors stack up books and publishers and agents give speeches but what about writer fairs where tables are set up and writers offer samples of their work, reading aloud or passing out a chapter or short story? Most writers only chance to experience that a few times in workshops and critique groups. What I propose are Writer Fairs.
It probably already exists out there. I'm just not aware of it.
With all these skills, though, the lyrics and melody change but the song remains the same. Cultivate a dream. Pursue it and persevere. Build on what you've done, mount the steps of your accomplishments and keep going, keep trying.
Dreams have no boundaries.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com