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 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.




7 responses

9 04 2009

Love your writing, Sarah. And I love your approach to writing! You’ve challenged me to hone my craft as a songwriter as well… Honestly. I think the swirl of our conversations about dreams -about disciplined creativity -about learning from fellow writers – those conversations probably helped spark what has now become a flame of songwriting identity for me this year.
Thank you for being the kind of friend to encourage and spur me on.

9 04 2009

Just read this post quickly, I did a search for “writing” on wordpress because I, too, have a writing blog, and found your post really interesting, Sarah. It’s important to write everyday, and I am trying to do so in order to get this idea for a novel that I’ve had in my head for a while actually onto paper. So far, so good. I’m hoping to do some writer’s conferences/looking into Writing MFA programs, but it’s awesome to find like minded writers online to share things with. Feel free to check out my blog sometime, and I am definitely going to be adding your blog to my slowly growing blogroll!



9 04 2009
Sarah Markley

Thanks so much for the comments, mandy and geoff. So encouraging!!

10 04 2009

Sarah, I am definitely inspired to take my writing (be it songs or prose) to the next level. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to the next post!

10 04 2009

Thanks Sarah.

I’ve actually taken a step of making my old writing blog public again. The writings aren’t very good, but I guess it’s a learning thing and practice makes things better…

16 04 2009
Decompressing After a Writer’s Conference: Story [Part 2] « Our Creative Community

[…] After a Writer’s Conference: Story [Part 2] 13 04 2009 Part 1 (Blogging to Writing) | Part 2 (Story) | Part 3 […]

16 04 2009
Decompressing After A Writer’s Conference: Connection [Part 3] « Our Creative Community

[…] After A Writer’s Conference: Connection [Part 3] 16 04 2009 Part 1 (Blogging to Writing) | Part 2 (Story) | Part 3 […]

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