Yesterday, I marked one of my goals off the list for the year: Attend a Writer’s Conference.
So far my goal list for the year looks like this:
Publish a Bookdone on January 31st Attend a Writer’s Conferencedone on February 28th Query an Agentdone on January 18th (I think that’s the right date)
- Publish a Second Book by May In the process with “The Devil Within.”
2015 has been a great year for my writing, because I made it so. I dreamed it, but more importantly I started living the dream. Right now, I’m struggling to look at edits on my book and swallow my pride. I’m struggling to make necessary changes so my book can become the best book it can be. Stay tuned, because in the next few days I’m going to show you the photo of where the idea for my book came from!
At the Mid-Winter Writers Conference yesterday, I traveled down the road with a friend, writing companion, and my project manager: Sheri Williams.Sheri is just like she is on the big ole world wide web: funny, easy to talk to, and inspiring. She’s one of the most giving people I’ve ever met, without that little word expectation stuck to her.
I think my favorite workshop was done by Ashley Kitchens, “Say It So They See It.” She used poems by Carl Sandburg and e e cummings (reminded me of my days in Mr. Franek’s class) as examples. She started out showing us a sentence, “The Coffee Tastes Good,” and as she went through the poems we changed it. Interestingly enough, “painted ladies” are apparently better known as prostitutes than whores (and only Sheri will get that!). By the end the phrase, “Coffee Tastes Good,” had changed dramatically showing us how the coffee tasted instead of telling us. My coffee phrase: Poured in the cup, it calls me to my day. That’s how I feel about coffee, it keeps me going at 4:30 AM. Oh and all that delicious, rich, titillating stuff too.
I also enjoyed Ellen Maze’s workshop, “Plot and Characterization: Bringing Fiction to Life.” She had the best sense of humor. She had a list characterization questions that should be answered on your character, at least your main character, before you start writing. I already do this, to a certain extent, but not as deeply as she does. I’ll use her outline in my next book and see if it helps my characters seem more three-dimensional.
Overall, I thought it was a great conference. I met some amazingly talented people. And we know, thanks to Kathryn Lang that it’s all about relationships. Because really it is. To be a writer, you need to have people supporting you, social media contacts, and people who are willing to spread the word for you. You need people to bounce ideas off of, to say, “Does this fall flat? I was trying to convey this, did you understand the picture I was trying to paint, the feeling, the emotion that came with it?”
You need someone to say the phrase, “The Coffee Tastes Good,” doesn’t convey meaning. What are you trying to say? Conferences are great for that, giving you a whole new way to think about your writing, and giving you a community who can help you in your journey, one who specifically knows what you’re going through.