When Do You Write? GEORGE WEINSTEIN


As an aspiring novelist, one of the many things I fantasize about is writing my acknowledgments. Certainly, if given the chance, I will thank all of the family and friends who supported me on my writing journey.

But I will also give special thanks to George Weinstein and the Atlanta Writers Club. Because I will be able to trace every bit of success I experience as a writer to both George and the AWC.

I met George just over five years ago, when I came across the AWC booth at the Decatur Book Festival. The following month, I attended my very first monthly meeting, where I discovered a nurturing, intelligent group of people with a passion for words. George Weinstein, then president, was the heart and soul of the Club. He is still the heart and soul of the Club. He has worked tirelessly to provide programs, workshops, and now twice yearly conferences to get our members’ manuscripts in the best shape possible. And I suspect that every working writer within a hundred miles of Atlanta, owes a least a little bit of their success to George.

A few years ago, I asked him why he did this– why he devoted so much of his time and energy to our organization. He told me quite simply, “I love helping writers make their dreams come true.”

And now, it’s George’s turn. His dream comes true this week with the release of his critically-acclaimed novel, Hardscrabble Road.

To say that I am bursting with pride would be a vast understatement. To say that publication could not have happened to a more deserving person– would also seem inadequate. But you can bet that I’ll be one of the first people in line to purchase an autographed copy of his book. And if you’re planning on making it to his book launch party at Peerless Bookstore this Saturday evening, you’d better get there early. I have a feeling there will be a line out the door.

Hip, hip, hooray– for one of our very own.

WHEN DOES HE WRITE?

I’m the most undisciplined kind of writer. I’ll go for months—sometimes years!—without working on a new novel. Then, I get the writing fever and throw myself into a project. This spell might last for six weeks or dry up in a few days. What kills this passion? I have a thousand excuses: most center on work, family time, and commitments I’ve made to the organizations for which I volunteer. All very logical, all very convenient. All BS, of course, because in 2001 and 2002 I used to get up at 3:30 or 4:00 every work morning and write for two hours, when I was inspired to complete my first novel. I wrote at lunch time. I wrote on my arm while stuck in traffic. I wrote.

For a few years thereafter, while I had a literary agent thanks to that first book (still unpublished as of 2012), my wife invited me to be a “kept man” and I wrote full-time, cranking out Hardscrabble Road in 2004 and a contemporary novel that still needs work (if only I had the time). Working half-days in 2008, I completed the kids’ adventure novel Jake and the Tiger Flight for the Tiger Flight Foundation, and I fired my agent. By 2010, now working full-time again, I managed to complete a near-future terrorism sex comedy—somehow I even had time to invent a genre!—but lately all I’ve created are more excuses. So, when do I write? Whenever I get so excited by a character or a storyline that I forget all the reasons why I don’t have time to write.

BIO:  George Weinstein is the author of the Southern historical novel Hardscrabble Road, his second work of fiction, and Managing Director of AAL, a consulting and educational services company. His work has been published locally in the Atlanta press and in regional and national anthologies, including A Cup of Comfort for Writers. His first novel, the children’s motivational adventure Jake and the Tiger Flight, was written for the nonprofit Tiger Flight Foundation, which is dedicated to the mission of leading the young to become the “Pilot in Command” of their lives. He wishes that there had been such an organization in Laurel, Maryland, where he misspent his youth.

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