I’m not a slacker, I promise! I spent the last 4 days at the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City with 800 aspiring writers and about 100 published authors, agents, and editors.
Talk about inspiration!
This is a writing and publishing oriented conference with pitching opportunities. Everyone there means business! Everyone wants to be a published author. Everyone wants to rise to the top of their game.
It is a diverse conference — in every way. Some writers want traditional publishing, some want to self-publish. There are men and women of all ages and colors — and that goes for the presenters and the attendees.
Plus it’s in midtown Manhattan! And there is a Bluemercury right outside the lobby. Attached to the hotel. In four days I only bought two lipsticks. This, my friends, is what’s called self-control.
On Friday I was on a panel of authors and we discussed — you guessed it — women’s fiction. I still find myself defending the label, and that bothers me. Readers don’t care what we call our books, but agents need to know how to pitch a book to a publisher. Publishers need to know how to market book. And for the writers are the querying stage, they need to know which agents to target. Genre labels make this unscientific process as precise as it can be (which isn’t very precise).
On Saturday I led an hour-long session on how writers can silence negative self-talk, and how to deal with unsupportive friends and family. I’ll go into that in more detail with its own post this week. The workshop ends up being 30 minutes of me talking and 30 minutes of 100-author group therapy.
Saturday night I went out for dinner (at 8pm — so late for me) with three of my favorite author friends and talked about publishing (until we didn’t) and books and families and just plain old stuff. It was the most inspiring time for me, because these women do what I do with spouses and very young children! Some have full-time, fancy jobs! Plus, they’re all a lot younger than I am, which doesn’t matter until I realize I was years away from being ready to or even interested in writing a novel when I was their age. Again, doesn’t really matter but did cross my mind.
Now I am ready to turn that inspiration to words on the page this week. It’s a busy one coming up–but I’m back on track.
Catch me up! What inspired you to write these past few days?
PS I also had two meals and time to visit with my son — which is the best part — but not the writerly part!