Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random Acts of Catch Up

Well, it’s taken me a good two weeks to get back into my groove since the conference. No real surprise there.

RWA was terrific! I got to see some dear, dear friends that I hadn’t seen in three years, so that was fabulous. There were a lot of marketing sessions, so I got some good info that I’ll be sharing over at Shrinking Violets. Another thing I was heartened by was the unspoken theme this year, or at least, the unspoken theme that I glommed onto, was that it was time to step outside the conventions of the genre, if that’s where your story took you. Not just for the sake of being different, but because you needed to go there. There were a number of indicators that the genre was in need of fresh, original voices and takes on stories, so that’s always nice to hear. In fact, two of my favorite quotes from the conference were:

No one will remember you if you write small. I think that was Shauna Summers who said that. Also, The worst thing to be is forgettable. That may have been Shauna, too. My notes aren’t as clear as I’d like.

I got to meet Sherry Thomas, one of my favorite new writers this year, and pick up her most recent book, DELICIOUS, which I loved. An unexpected treat was that I got to meet Melissa Marr, whose WICKED LOVELY was fabulous, and pick up a signed copy of her newest, INK EXCHANGE. I’m saving that for a treat when I finish my first draft of Theo 3.

Which, btw, I’m at that plodding (not plotting!) stage of Theodosia 3, needing to go back in and weave all the threads that developed as I wrote the discovery draft of the first half. Once I have that all in place, I can pick up steam and write the second half. Sometimes my process annoys the spit out of me.

In other news, I finally finally got a myspace page up. I swear, I may be the last author on the planet to put up a myspace page. I was conflicted for a long time because the majority of my readers are under 13, and therefore technically not allowed on myspace. However, I’ve come to see that there are a number of librarians and booksellers and other writers whose purpose is to network with each other, so it finally made sense to me. So if you're on myspace, feel free to friend me!

Oh! Another session at RWA that I found extremely helpful was one with Eric Maisel. Specifically, his suggestions to reframe our self talk to honor our creativity more. I especially liked his suggestion that instead of discipline in our writing, we talk of devotion, and that really struck a chord with me. Many people comment on how disciplined I am, and I have to resist snorting at them. Moi? Disciplined? Not so much. I am, however, devoted to my writing, just as I am to my family. The truth is, when you love something, it is very, very easy to devote yourself to it.

So if you’re having trouble finding the discipline to put your butt in that chair and write, try finding that little spark of devotion that first got you interested in writing in the first place. That may be a much better motivator for you. It is for me.