On Conference

Here it is, Thursday after the 2014 Madison Writer’s Conference.

For four days I’ve avoided sitting down and writing something in regards to my experience there. There’s so much to say about the nervousness of sharing my work, the excitement of being let in on industry secrets, the networking, small talk, and trading of business cards (with SO many Deborahs!) why have I been avoiding the commentary?

There’s no good reason that I know of to not do what I want to do.

And yet, no words written in four days.

Keep writing. That’s the solution to every writing problem.” — That was Nathan Bransford, one of the author-speakers at the conference. It was one of those bits of advice that is so simple I thought he was kidding. The kernel of truth therein, though, has lingered with me.  The simplicity of it stirs my hope.

And so, I keep writing.

I had expectations of the weekend, of the tactics and skills I would learn, authors and agents I would meet, and changes made in the way I approached my wordsmithery. I had to believe that the weekend would be altering and significant enough to justify the tax return spent on it.  I even toyed with the fantasy of my two agent meetings resulting in my book’s sale. I imagined shaking of hands with wide, excited smiles. My life would change in wild ways, my words vindicated and righteous as they were bought and made real. The agents arguing in the hallway over who would represent my efforts.

That didn’t happen, exactly.

The two agents I met with were women vastly different from one another. Older, younger.  Highly experienced, less so. Checked out, engaged. They both, though, saw a glimmer of potential in my pitched novel. They saw something there, something not entirely seen before. And those thoughtful, paused glances as I made my pitch encouraged me.  I left both meetings acknowledging that a great amount of work lay before me. The book was not near as ready as I had thought going in, but I glimpsed that both professional women, who’d seen thousands of ideas, liked mine.  And that was a good thing.

And so, I endeavor onward.

Cheers and Good Words,



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