Saturday, August 02, 2014
Writer, Know Thyself.
I love to write. I do not love much else about being a writer. This is what I learned at the Midwest Writers Conference last weekend in Muncie, IN. It was a well-organized conference with great resources, entertaining speakers, friendly but serious attendees, a lovely facility we based ourselves in, good vibes, good food. Everything you can ask for in a conference. So I highly recommend this conference to anyone who feels attending a conference will boost their writing life and road to publication. A fantastic writer's conference.
However, as the three days passed, I became more and more despondent. I was morose by end of Friday. I had learned that I don't like networking (hate is an ugly word), that I don't care about Twitter, that my platform is basically a few grade-school teachers who haven't died yet, that my work in progress has the wrong-age protagonist, is too short for the genre I was going for, that my main character who I love needs to be cut out in favor of a sub-character coming to the front, that there are lots of amazing writers out there, who read out loud works they had created in the last few moments and they were awesome to hear. My query letter was so confusing and nonsensical that the critiquer was speechless. One of my comments in my pitch closely resembled a 'Don't' in a later speaker round-table. Now, is it good to learn about everything you are doing wrong? I am sure that is why I paid the money. But I learned that I don't want to know all this. I really, really don't want to know it. I wish I could un-know it. These are my feelings. But don't give up on me, see title of post.
I want to write in my room for myself. I love writing. I love the creative process that comes from no-where-ville and appears at the end of my fingertips. I apparently am allergic to anything related to becoming published because all it did was make me feel unworthy, clumsy, and cynical.
I felt my desire to write dwindling, and I realize now why I went to a conference in 2003 at Iowa Summer Writing festival and haven't been back to one since. I went back to my journals and see that after attending that conference, I packed away my muse for 15 months. How can a person forget that ? (rhetorical question, I forget a lot, different blog post)
On the bright side, I also had a mountain-top moment during the Saturday evening session with Elizabeth Berg. I want to savor it and keep it to myself for now, but I'll write about it eventually. It made the trip so worthwhile. And to learn something about yourself is always a great thing. I learned that getting out of your comfort zone is really uncomfortable and many writers have these same issues. I learned my time would have been more enjoyable spent in my hotel room writing non-stop for three lovely, long, solitary days, but that is because I am a flawed and imperfect human-writer. But perhaps more enjoyable isn't always best? I'm learning more about myself each year. Good to know, good to know.