I love going to writers conferences. It’s not so much about what I learn, although that alone is valuable. It’s more about hanging out with writers, catching their energy and passion, and thinking about my own writing in a new way. Let me illustrate by sharing a few pebbles of wisdom from the recent James River Writers Conference. Unfortunately, my notes did not include the names of the persons who dropped these gems in my lap, which means I can’t give proper credit to the speakers.
– Write to the hole in your heart.
– Writers have to deal with ambiguity. It’s your own truth that you bring to the muddle that clarifies it.
– Plot is the tracing out of a character’s desire, the laying out of what the character wants versus what the character gets.
– Write the way Otis Redding sings, with rhythm, emotion and voice. His music emulates desire.
-When someone is reading my book, that person is in my care. The whole point of literature is to make you feel more human, and it’s the writers responsibility to make that happen.
Everything about the conference feeds my writer self. What awakens the writer in you?