This weekend at our annual Anchorage Writer’s Conference, I learned something important. I could be a best-selling author on a weekly basis, raking in millions like Nora Roberts or Stephen King, but unless I have the love of my family and fellowship of my other writers and authors, it’s meaningless.

True fellowship in encouraging and supporting each other to become the best writers we can be. Not give up on our creativity but give ourselves over to it and see where it takes us.

Learned another thing: If what we write makes a difference to even ONE reader, we will have done our job. One of our speakers at this weekend’s writing conference in Anchorage said writing and publishing fiction makes the world a better place.

Yeah, the self-doubt thing creeps in and yeah we beat it back with a stick. Every writer I know goes through this. Part of the process.

I have the good fortune of a loving family, staying healthy and experiencing life as much as I can when not writing…after all if you don’t live life, how can you write about it? It takes time, patience, and perseverance to get books out to the world. People at the writer’s conferences and workshops inspire and motivate us to get there.

Since beginning this crazy adventure in 2015, I’ve met wonderful writers and authors in Anchorage, around Alaska, the USA and even the world from online writing sites. How else but through writing would I have met my Irish Chick in Carlow and she’d invite me to write a song with her and perform it in a concert in Maynooth, Ireland?! I STILL can’t believe that happened, seems like a dream.

How else would I have known our fantastic group of writers in the Alaska Chapter of Romance Writer’s of America, all of whom are gracious and selfless in their willingness to help each other become better writers and published authors? Or the talented writers in the Alaska Writer’s Guild and the Alaska Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators? They have enriched my life in countless ways.

“You’re livin’ the dream!” some friends said recently. Yes, I am, I’m drunk on it. Who knows, maybe these 4 books I’ve written will ferment in my computer forever until a meteor hits Planet Earth. I no longer see publishing as success or failure.

It’s the journey. I know that now.

No, I’m not rich or famous. Nor do I anticipate being either. But that’s not the real prize, though the world views it that way. Only 1% of writers achieve Nora and Stephen status.

I’m on a journey like Frodo, Harry, Katniss, Huckleberry, Khaleesi & Jon Snow—or Tracy Edwards, who led the first all-woman crew in a sailing race around the world in 1990, fighting battles against her own doubt. She didn’t win: It was the journey to the finish line, the actual accomplishment that mattered. (Watch the “Maiden”documentary if you haven’t seen it!)

The real prize for me is the Fellowship of the Pen. The people and experiences in my journey. I write romance because the Beatles were spot on. The world needs more love. And more fellowship (Thank you, Tolkien and George Martin III (even though I can’t forgive you for the Red Wedding).

Every human is wired for story. Writing them down is how we pass them along. Messages of hope. Empathy. And love. These things are important to humans. Without them, this thing called life would be one weird ride.

And that’s why we write.

aka LoLo Paige

© Lois Paige Simenson and The Alaska Philosophaster, 2019, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Alaska Philosophaster with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.      

Written by Lois Paige Simenson


  1. Ginny Rollman September 23, 2019 at 10:38 am Reply

    Dear Lois

    YOU ARE THE BEST, and though the Fellowship of the Pen is Marvelous, you and I NEED to have coffee and a chat! Soon, eh? Welcome Home!

    • Lois Simenson September 25, 2019 at 1:34 pm Reply

      Hi Ginny, thanks for your kind words. Yes, we’ll get together soon!

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