I feel like there’s been a theme going on here at Magical Musings, and it hasn’t been by design. Michelle began it last week with her post on Writer and Reader Events. Then Marilyn posted on Friday about Teachers Who Make a Lifelong Difference. Yesterday, we heard from Liz that she’d Rather Be Reading (and wishing you a quick recovery, m’dear!).
It all boils down to the fact that writers are always seeking ways to improve their craft, find new, innovative story ideas or new ways of telling the accepted tropes. This past weekend, I attended the New England Chapter RWA “Let Your Imagination Take Flight” conference in Burlington, MA. It was my first conference in 18 months, and it was amazing.
First, there’s the chance to catch up with fellow writers and learn what everyone is working on. It was fun to catch up with Wendy S. Marcus and to meet Stephanie Queen in person for the first time. Marie Force was there, generous with her time and knowledge as always.
Third, there are inspirational keynote presentations, where authors share their journeys and truisms about writing and publishing. Terri Brisbin reminded me to write—and floss—daily. And Caroline Linden reminded me that writing can help center a writer even when she faces adversity in her life. I can’t recap all the wonderful things they shared, all I know is that I came away fired up.
And then there were workshops. I attended a great session on Point of View by Gail Eastwood. I thought I was pretty good at POV, but Gail proved to me that there were even more layers to the ways I could use it. Penny Watson was there to talk about social media and promotion (and dachshunds and beards…really, check her site) and I scribbled notes furiously. And Kady Cross explored conflict between human and non-human characters (and was a huge hit with my fan-girl niece who got to meet her!) And Terri Brisbin helped me see that maybe there is a reason for me to explore writing a novella length story in my Lords of London series.
By the end of the weekend, my brain was humming with ideas. I’m prepping for a two-week writing sabbatical, so the timing was perfect. No matter how long you’re in this game, there’s always more to learn. I’m really looking forward to the next two conferences I’ll be attending later this summer. Meanwhile, I’m going to take a note from Liz and stay up late and read.
How about you – have you ever attended a conference or taken an adult education class? What else is out there that you’d like to learn?