Monday, July 29, 2013

A Writer's Life

Having recently returned from the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference in SeaTac, Washington, I am slowly getting my brain back to normal. Suitcase is unpacked. A tub is full of notes, business cards, and receipts, waiting to be cared for. The slick girly briefcase/shoulder bag is waiting for attention. The laundry is almost complete. And the manuscript is being edited. Again. And probably will be again. Before it is shipped off to a lovely editor and a cool agent I pitched to during the conference.

If you are a writer, or want to be a writer, or used to be a writer...this conference is very beneficial. Everything I have thought over the years was verbalized, expounded on, repeated, discussed, illustrated, shown, explained, questioned... Things like writer's platform, query letters, proposals, New Adult (that one I had never heard of, nor thought of, as adults are not usually new - since they have been growing as a human since birth), pitch sessions, contracts, agents, publishers, marketing, traditional publishing, self-publishing, hybrid publishing (missed the explanation on this one), and head shots. That is not all, but the brain is sorting the muddle as I type.

People watching was most interesting. Speaking with a wide variety and caliber of writers was enlightening. Personalities and stress levels were evident, to my amusement and agreement. I did not relax until Saturday afternoon, AFTER my pitch session was over. FYI, a pitch session is very similar to speed dating, except writers pitch to editors and agents in four minute blurbs of time. Observation gave me a slight shock as I realized that some writers actually resemble what they write! I guess that means I will (or do) look like a child. I know I am as short as an elementary student.

There is much to process from four days of long sessions and experiences.

But underneath it all, we get it. Writers understand other writers and the need to write. From an early age we have needed to express ourselves with words on paper. It is hard to write. There are times we must force ourselves to write and words do not come. At other times, words flow like a river of smooth ink. Procrastination is easier than butt time. There is always something else to do. But we must write. Our souls call us to create in our minds. Ideas sneak up as we are engaged in other activities. Words, phrases, and plans are jotted on a myriad of writing surfaces. Scribbles abound in unorganized form, longing to be placed in context.

So we write. Of course, we want readers to read and understand.

But even if readers are not available, we must write.

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