Hi! I’m Ruth Solie and I am the out-going President of the Lake Region Writers Network – even though I have never called myself, or considered myself, a writer.
I am a reader and an evangelist for the written word. Literary arts have been a passion all my life. As a sponsor of a Little Free Library and a librarian for more than 30 years, I have promoted reading and literacy for everyone and sought to make books available to people of all ages and in all settings. The written word has been my life line and my recreation. Sharing the written word of others has been my joy.
Though I don’t think of myself as a writer, the fact is, I write all the time. But only for myself. I recently counted 23 personal journals sitting on my shelf. These have been created in just the past few years. Elsewhere are journals from my youth and travel journals. I have bundles of letters I have written over the years and boxes of family letters spanning generations. I am surrounded by my own writing – and none of it published and little of it written for anyone other than myself.
The personal journals are written by me, for me, as an extension of my thought process. These journals are part of a meditative, reflective practice. They are casual and often random, containing poetry and quotations, sketches, thoughts, and lists. There are rants as I work through deeply personal issues. There are long passages of gratitude and love. There may be a household budget scenario followed by a passage from another writer. There are reflections on what I have read.
These journals are totally eclectic in nature, and I use them as a way to sort out my life, to dream, to understand, to reflect, and to appreciate. The fact they are messy only indicates how my mind has a lot going on and writing is a way to clarify things and to find – sometimes – a path to understanding, gratitude, and peace.
What does the Lake Region Writers Network have to offer me? Quite a lot. Though I do not write with an eye to publication,
- I want to be a better writer, and I want the tools to express myself more eloquently.
- I want, as well, to better understand and appreciate the writing that others share with the world.
- I want to build an audience for the writers in our region.
- I want to mingle and converse with writers – via the printed page and in face-to- face encounters.
- I want to explore resources that are available to me and to share resources I have found that might be useful to others.
- And, I want to be a part of a community that values and appreciates the written word.
The Lake Region Writers Network provides an opportunity for me to do all of this.
LRWN is a big umbrella that includes people like me (a writer without aspiration to publication), early-stage writers developing their skills, writers well on the path, and the famous, award-winning writers who not only share their finished work but generously share the tools of their craft with others. There is something for everyone under this umbrella. There is much to learn, to share, and to marvel at. I enjoy being a part of this community that celebrates the written word, and I’m glad you are a part of this community, too. The umbrella is large and the people here are the most interesting you’ll find anywhere!
Whether you write for yourself, for an audience, for publication, or just for the pleasure of it, you are part of the rich literary fabric of Minnesota. As LRWN begins its sixth year as an organization in the nine counties of west central Minnesota, we invite you to use our resources, attend our events, make contributions to the blog, contribute to the Lake Region Review and attend our writers conference. We’re sure you’ll find good people, good writing, and good experiences. And, like me, you may discover you are more of a writer than you ever thought you were.
Author’s Bio.: Ruth Solie has been a librarian for over 30 years, working with all kinds of libraries and in a variety of communities. She grew up in Montana, attended Carleton College as an undergraduate, and received graduate degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Chicago. Her personal commitment is to literature, literacy, libraries, and young children. She has been an active promoter and supporter of the literary arts in Minnesota through involvement with the Minnesota Book Award program, as co-chair of the Spotlight on Books Conference, and extensive library programming over the years. She is honored to work with the writers of the Lakes Region Writers Network. Ruth is serving as president of the LRWN Board.