Happy Saturday. While you are reading this post, I’m attending a writer’s conference. More about that later, but first, you know, we must do the reading update. What are we reading? So, I finished Karen White’s Flight Patterns–a totally amazing book. Well written, so intricate in plot and emotion–I can’t get enough! And I’m still reading Jesus Among the Secular Gods by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale. I’ve reread chapters a couple of times, trying to wrap my mind around the facts. Yes, facts. :) So, I’m about to start another fiction book and we’ll update on that in October. :)
As I stated earlier, I am at a writer’s conference today. It’s the annual Moonlight and Magnolia Conference put on by the Georgia Romance Writers. Their contest, the Maggie Contest for published and unpublished work is highly respected in the romance world. I’m not a finalist this year, but I have friends who are. The awards dinner is always fun, followed by a dance with a DJ.
It’s always great to connect with people I haven’t seen in a while, and also, connect with other authors. And readers. It’s always amazing to hang in an environment of like-minded people. They get where you are coming from. I’m thrilled to be able to attend this year. I know it will do me a world of good. Conferences are so inspiring.
Speaking of inspiring, don’t you love a good book that inspires? I know I’ve talked before of reading a great book and it inspires me to write a (hopefully) better book myself. There’s something about words on a page that when put together in an amazing fashion can inspire. This includes all kinds of books.
I’m going to tell you a story. So a while back, I’m saying maybe 10 years ago, before I received a writing contract. I was at a conference in Denver. A RWA conference. I was roaming around the bookstore where I met a gal, Allison Pittman. :) She had published her first book, (which I read and it was amazing!) and she and I struck up a conversation. She pointed out James Scott Bell’s book, Plot and Structure. She told me how awesome the book was. I bought it and took it home and put it in my TBR pile. (I know you’ve all done the same thing.)
So fast forward a while, maybe a year or so. I was at a low point in writing. A really low point. I’d been doing the thing for years, a few contest wins and places, but no contract. I kept getting interesting feedback, I guess you could say. I was switching from third person to first person–getting flack about that. It had all come to a head and I decided that I just didn’t have “it.” You know, the natural thing folks must have to write a book. I also thought what I lacked couldn’t be learned.
One day, when I pretty much had decided to give the whole thing up, I picked up the plot and structure book that I had bought at that conference. Oh, my! On the first page, the introduction page, was my dilemma. The big lie—writing can’t be taught. Ha! On page 2, James Scot Bell told me that writing CAN be taught.
I devoured that book! Loved it. When I finished the book I was working on my reward was his book, Revision and Self-Editing. I mean the minute I typed the end, I got in the car, drove to the bookstore, (who had 1 copy left!) and bought the book.
Why am I telling you this story? Because no matter what happens, if you are meant to write you will. Or skate, or whatever it is that you love to do. Don’t ever give up. Surround yourself with people who love what you love. I’m excited that next month I’ll have a project to share! But until then, do what you love surrounded by the people that love it as well!