Monday, June 22, 2009

Processing A Writer's Conference

I've had a day to get my thoughts in order, but yet there still seems to be a haze lingering around my brain matter. Ever feel that way? Like you can't quite organize your thoughts and come up with a clear understanding of what transpired?

Writer's conferences have a way of doing that to some of us.

Okay, I'll try my best to divulge what I found to be the highlights of Write! Canada 2009 for me. (By the way, Write! Canada is the largest Christian Writer's Conference in Canada. It attracts over 200 attendees each year. That may seem small to you American's, but remember, our land mass may be close to yours, but our population isn't.)

This was my third year attending this conference, and I must say that each year the Worship time ranks high in my memories. Singing and praising God, and hearing His word spoken aloud before breakfast each morning is truly a gift. Each time I leave a worship service at Write! I tell myself that if this alone was offered, it'd still be more than worth attending.

But, of course, the worship time is not all that is offered. Socializing and learning with fellow writers is both encouraging and inspiring. Hearing newly published authors tell their joyful story in the midst of encouraging you to keep going is truly a blessing. Their sincere interest in wanting to help you succeed comes through their words of encouragement, gracious advice offered, and knowledge shared. This is what a writer's conference is all about. Sharing!

My focus at this conference this year was not so much to expand my knowledge of the craft, but with getting a better idea of what is really involved in publication. Since I will also be attending ACFW's conference in the fall, I figured I'd save the craft-building classes for that one, and learn a little more about what hopefully is to come for me sometime in the next twenty years or so. As a result, I learned many things. Here's a few for starters.

1) How to focus on my writing as a career, not a hobby.
2) What agents really do, and why you need to do your homework before seeking one out. And that there is a reason why it's so difficult to partner with a good agent.
3) Contracts have many similarities to fourth year Algebra and Calculus post-secondary classes. NO FUN!
4) I have so much more to learn...
5) The image you portray does mean something.
6) Some bloggers actually can make money. And somehow do so by simply putting a PAYPAL link on their blog. (Don't worry, I'm not headed in that direction.)
7) I have so much more to learn...
8) Edits don't end until the author puts his/her foot down. Learn when to do it!
9) There will always be someone who writes better than you, but you don't have to write like them to share your words with the world!
10) Published authors are generous people who want to help you succeed.
11) There are many sides to an individual. Don't be blind-sided by a third-party viewing. (This can be used in character development big time. Talk about multi-dimensional character building!)
12) Editors don't all rip your work to shreds.
13) And, since this list needs to end somewhere and a baker's dozen is a good number--once again--I have so much more to learn... BUT, I also discovered, that I know a thing or two, too!!! Now that's progress.

On Wednesday, I'm going to dig a little deeper into the first item listed above over on Writer's Rest.

I pray you all had a wonderful weekend and that your writing is shining brightly these days. Blessings prayed for you all!

Surrendering to Him,



Jody Hedlund said...

Welcome back!! Sounds like a really fun weekend! I'm jealous and now getting more excited about ACFW!! Looks like you learned some great things about the agent and editing process.

I'll look forward to Wednesday's post about looking at writing as more than a hobby! So, now it's back to the WIP??

Have a great week!

Jessica Nelson said...

Love your list Eileen! :-) Conferences are wonderful. I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself and I can't wait to hear more about it.

MeganRebekah said...

I laughed at this post, but for personal reasons. My brother-in-law is Canadian and we joke with him constantly about the differences between Canada and the US. All in good humor of course.

I can't wait to hear more about the conference though and what you learned!

Georgiana Daniels said...

Glad you're home all safe and sound :-) I'm really looking forward to your next few posts. Any room left in the still-have-a-lot-to-learn boat? I'm there too!

Jill Kemerer said...

How wonderful! I'm glad you went and enjoyed yourself. I know how you feel, because I'm constantly learning something new. Very humbling!

Terri Tiffany said...

Welcome back! I love #9--so nice to read that one:)) It sounds as though you really had a good time and learned a lot. I'm looking forward to reading more:)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I'm so glad you had a great time and learned so much! Can't wait to hear more about it!

Katie Ganshert said...

Sounds like a great time with lots learned! Glad you're back! I really liked your list. Especially the putting your foot down, because until then, edits truly will never stop. Everybody has an opinion. :)

Steena Holmes said...

I found out about Write Canada a little too late - became a member of the WordGuild a week before the conference. What is this other conference you are mentioning?

Oh, BTW - I'm a new follower - I think I'll really enjoy your blog!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Eileen: This is encouraging; thank you for sharing your "short list."

Conferences can be overwhelming, but they are worth the amount of support we receive, and all we learn.

Welcome Home!

Erica Vetsch said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful and beneficial time at the conference.

I always feel as if I've been trying to sip from a firehose when I go to a conference. There's so much there, it takes awhile to process it all.

Bonnie Way aka the Koala Mom said...

Thanks for sharing your conference gleanings! Someday, I'd love to make it to Write! Canada... and to some of the bigger conferences in the States. Writers' conferences are so much fun and encouragement. :)

Faith said...

Silly me... turns out we WERE at the same conference :) And in some of the same classes, I believe... I apologize if I met you and then forgot... I'm terrible with names...!

I also found point #10 to be incredibly true... it surprised me, but in a wonderful way. The authors I talked to were all so encouraging and helpful, and it's true, I felt like they really did want to help the rest of us "get there". What a difference from many other professions... I think the fact that it was a Christ-centered event certainly helped with this, but it was still such a blessing.