Decompressing After A Writer’s Conference: Connection [Part 3]

16 04 2009

Part 1 (Blogging to Writing) | Part 2 (Story) | Part 3 (Connection)

What I pay for at a writer’s conference: Good food (5 days without doing dishes), Amazing speakers (the time to sit still and listen), and knowledge I could never get elsewhere.

What I don’t pay for at a writer’s conference (but still got anyway): connection, community and unbelievable friendships.

Nowhere else would I be able to find people with the same passion, the same belief foundation and the ability to make me feel as included and loved as I did. This year at Mount Hermon I both renewed relationships that I begun last year and made new ones.

Writers need writer friends. We can be lonely souls so knowing others who love the same craft is invaluable. Writers also need communities for both encouragement and critique. We simply need each other.

And nowhere else than a writer’s conference would I be drinking coffee with literary agents, eating meals with editors of major publishing houses and laughing at 11:30 at night with other writers from all over the country.

What sets something like this apart from something else is that we share passion. It isn’t like we are all in town because of a shared hobby. Golfing, knitting and fishing aside, writing for us is who we are. It is what we do. It helps define us.

And being in community with other people like this is worth every penny.

Sarah Markley blogs at sarahmarkley.com. She is the wife of Chad and the mother to two little girls and is convinced that she is living in the BEST DAYS of her life thus far. She runs, she writes and she works for her husband’s business, usually for free.





Decompressing After a Writer’s Conference: Blogging to Writing

9 04 2009

Part 1 (Blogging to Writing) | Part 2 (Story) | Part 3 (Connection)

Last spring I was a virgin writer’s conference attendee

In 2008, I came green and nervous with only one friend.  When someone asked me what I wrote (as everyone does at a writer’s conference) I stared back and said something like, “Uhhh, I blog.”  I was unfocused and worried and tried to defend myself.  I just needed to relax and admit I just wanted to learn.

Most grey-haired, legal pad-toting, old-school writers just stared back at me and either asked me what a blog was or asked me how having one would help launch their historical fiction romance book.  The idea of a blog having relevance or value in itself was foreign to them.

So much has changed since last spring.

I still blog.  It’s the 300-word-a-day discipline that Anne Lamott asks writers to do.  Sometimes my blog posts are much shorter or longer than 300 words, but since last year’s conference, I’ve learned so much about writing and about friendship.

The blogging has become less of my PRIMARY writing and more of my PRACTICE writing.

In the year between I’ve entered some writing contests, submitted several articles for publication, and gotten paid to write some website copy for a friend.  I took what I learned last year, swirled it in with the chaos and busyness of my life as a mother and tried to do as much as I could.  Aside from the website copy, I have yet to get a byline, but I am convinced I am a better writer today because of the discipline of blogging.

I’m not a virgin anymore.

I found myself at Mount Hermon this year with a collection of friends from last year and in between, with a new confidence and new answers for the “What do you write” questions at every meal.

I write.  I love to write.  And I know why I’m here:  to hone the gift God has given me.

Sarah Markley blogs at sarahmarkley.com. She is the wife of Chad and the mother to two little girls and is convinced that she is living in the BEST DAYS of her life thus far. She runs, she writes and she works for her husband’s business, usually for free.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.