The weekend before I left for my New England trip, our Hampton Roads Writers held its annual writers’ conference. It was fabulous! Our keynote speaker was Michael Palmer who has written sixteen New York Times best sellers. We also had Marisa Corvisiero and Linda Konner, New York literary agents, Chuck Sambuchino, editor for Writer’s Digest Books, and several other authors. The sessions were not only informative, they were inspiring as well.
Perhaps the session that made the biggest impression on me was the one presented by Karen Jones, an author, educator and broadcast journalist. These bits of advice from her presentation make me want to stop talking about my writing and sit my butt down and get it done:
1. Don’t wait for inspiration. You’ll never get your book published.
2. There is no writing fairy. You have to take an active part in the writing process.
3. Write your first draft as fast as you can. It will stink, but you’ll have something to work with.
4. Your first draft is for you and you alone. Do not share it with anyone. You can write 5,000-6,000 words a day if you know no one’s going to read it. It’s private, nobody’s business but your own.
5. Act like a writer. Find a time to write. Write every stinking day.
6. Confront your inner critic. All writing excuses are expressions of fear.
Unfortunately, as soon as the conference was over, I jumped on a plane and was gone for an entire week. I was infused with so much enthusiasm and hope and then had to wait to put it into action. Now I need to recreate that feeling. This happens after every conference I attend. I get so excited and tell myself that this time it will be different. This time I’m really going to write that book. This time there will be no excuses. Luckily, my husband is my biggest supporter. He said this morning that my job is to write. Everything else can wait. What a gift! And I’m going to get right to it. I just have to polish the silverware first…