Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Conversations and Connections 2009: Writing Conference Wrap Up

Serena and I attended the Conversations and Connections: Practical Advice on Getting Published conference on Saturday, April 11, in Washington, D.C. As she's already posted a pretty comprehensive account of our day complete with pictures (I can't believe I let her post a picture of me), I won't bore all of you by repeating the details. I'll just talk about my thoughts and feelings about the day and what I got out of the conference.

I don't like crowds or walking all over the city in cold rain, and I tend to avoid D.C. unless I'm traveling through on my way to work or taking friends and family on a tour. But I braved the rain and the flood of tourists eager to see the cherry blossoms to attend the conference because I'd like to finish my novel before I die. I've been a writer for as long as I can remember, and it seems like I've been working on this book and living with the characters inside my head for as long as I can remember. I've managed to put a little bit of their stories on paper, but they're not content to sit in my head any longer and need to get out. I was thrilled that the conference organizers replaced some of the panel discussions with craft lectures, and I jumped at the chance to get out of my writing rut.

We attended session on point of view, writer's block, and writing sex scenes, and I was glad to learn some things I can actually put to use in my writing. (Last year it seemed as though the whole conference was published writers simply discussing their individual experiences, which didn't help me much considering that I didn't have a finished novel to market. I needed help with the writing so I could have a finished novel.)

Anyway, I've already started writing more in the little time I have after work, family obligations, household stuff, blogging, and reading. (And my husband wonders why I don't sleep much!) I don't want to impose a deadline on myself to complete the book because that would be disastrous, but I needed some motivation and now I know how to get something on the paper even if it's not something I can use in my book.

I opted not to do speed dating with the editors this year because I didn't have any snippets from my novel that I wanted to share (but I made Serena show part of hers just to prove to her that it's a good start...I was right, of course...hee hee), I haven't worked at all on the short story I brought last year, and I don't write poetry anymore. The only thing I would change about the conference is to get rid of the featured speaker slot and add another craft lecture.

All-in-all, I had a wonderful, inspirational, motivational day (complete with tortellini and chicken from Bertucci's because it's mostly about writing but also a lot about the food LOL). Now I just have to work on creating some non-negotiable writing time when the hubby and The Girl know not to bother me. That'll be a challenge, but I know it has to be done if I'm ever going to finish writing this book. Wish me luck!


Blodeuedd said...

Good luck! :D
You can do it

Serena said...

You can do it...I really have a hard time with novel...but I think I have more motivation now.

I agree more craft lectures would be preferable.

Missy B. said...

Good luck to you! :)

Meghan said...

Good luck, Anna!

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

Anna, this is so exciting!! I'm glad conference format change allowed you to get so much out of it!

It's obvious that you're enthusiastic about moving forward with your writing - can you set up a schedule at home (rather than just trying to fit it in)?

Good luck and keep us posted!

Dawn said...

You have to just go for it Anna! You CAN do it! That conference sounded very interesting, I'm glad you enjoyed it!


Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm so impressed with the two of you, and I'm just a wee bit jealous! You can do this, both of you, I know you can!

Unknown said...

Glad you had fun at the conference. You can do ANYTHING when you really want to. Good luck!

Anna said...

Blodeuedd: Thanks!

Serena: Thanks for the motivation and a special thanks for taking me to the conference as an early b-day gift. I'd love for there to be more craft lectures next year.

Missy: Thanks!

Meghan: Thanks!

Dawn: Thanks! During the week, there's not a lot of time from when I get home to when I go to bed, so I'll have to just fit it in when I'm awake enough to stay up late. I'm going to set up a schedule with hubby for the weekends, though. If he can play softball every Sunday, he can occupy The Girl for me to write for a bit on Saturdays. :)

Dawn: You've always been one of my biggest cheerleaders, and I thank you very much! Thanks for believing in me!

Sandy: Thanks! That means a lot to me.

Janel: Thanks! I appreciate your support.

Iliana said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time and best of all it's great that you are feeling more motivated to get back to your writing. Just think, one day you'll be doing a book blog tour :)

Anna said...

Iliana: I'd love that! I'm just hoping to stay motivated. That's the key.