Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What I Learned at the Missouri Writers' Guild Conference

Dear Mom,

I had the pleasure of attending the MWG writing conference this past weekend. It was more than I expected with fine folks like keynote speakers: Claire Cook and Christina Katz. I had attended their workshop where I became inspired and learned a lot. Just listening to their keynote speeches caused you to walk away inspired.

I also attended workshops with Jane Friedman, Karen Docter and Shawntelle Madison. Of course, I learned more.

It was a privilege to pick up Karen Docter, Ann Collette and Sarah LaPolla from the airport. I was nervous, but these ladies put me at ease right away. On the way home I had another privilege of taking some other fine ladies to the airport: Ann Behar, Debra Hess, Rhonda Penders and Michele Mortimer.

Ten things I learned from this conference other than writing tips and tools:

1) That volunteering is rewarding, but then I already knew that…
2) To have fun! Yes, Lynn. FUN.
3) I’m a book addict. I told myself that I wouldn’t buy a book—any book—this seminar, but I left with eight. I ran out of the bookroom before I ran out of money. Is there a 12 step program for this?
4) That I need to love my writing and it doesn’t matter if anyone else does… well, it’d be nice if a few people loved it too.
5) I need to work on my first page of every manuscript I’m working on. And probably the second, third, fourth…
6) Writers, agents and publishers are all helpful and kind. I’m so blessed to be among this class of people. Seriously.
7) There’s so much I don’t know. Understatement.
8) I worry too much. I worry that I worry, that’s how much I worry. I need to just keep #2 in mind.
9) Social media is important, but I need to schedule and limit my time and keep my main focus on my writing. Focus.
10) I can’t win a contest or get published if I don’t enter. So I need to do what this piece of jewelry says that my friend, Sioux made and in case you can’t read the words: Write-Submit-Write.

Congratulations to all my friends who were awarded at the conference. And thanks to everyone who participated and volunteered.

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  1. Great post, Aunt Lynn. I like #2 the best!

  2. It sounds like you had a great time, Lynn. And I agree with your niece. Having fun is extremely important. Perhaps you need to find a more lively critique group, since the one you belong to is so serious...

  3. #4, I think you should realize that WWWPs don't humor you, and certain editors don't publish you because you write poorly. You write well. Believe us and in yourself. Now you can add another feather to your hat, chauffer.
    Write about it.

  4. Laughed out loud when I saw you vow to buy no books and then left with eight! Mercy, you must be my clone! It is hard to turn away from a good book, isn't it!

  5. Hi Lynn,
    Thanks so much for this post. I wasn't able to attend the conference, but after reading your post I felt like I was there.
    And if you find a 12-step program for people who are addicted to buying books, please let me know.

  6. Thanks for the great post, Lynn!

    I'm going to my first writing conference in a few weeks. I hope it's as inspiring as it sounds like yours was. :)

    I totally need to take the social media advice. (Says the girl currently typing a blog comment instead of writing. Gah!)

  7. Thanks for passing along all that great advice, Lynn!

  8. Love the piece of jewelry from Sioux. And I absolutely CAN relate to: I worry that I worry, that’s how much I worry. Love that there's someone out there like me. Thanks for the list. Wish I'd been there.

  9. Love the piece of jewelry from Sioux. And I absolutely CAN relate to: I worry that I worry, that’s how much I worry. Love that there's someone out there like me. Thanks for the list. Wish I'd been there.

  10. Sorry, didn't mean for that to post twice.

  11. Write-Submit-Write. How perfect is that!
    I agree with everything you said, Lynn. Great post!
    It was my first time to volunteer at a conference and that was a great experience. I learned so much and got to spend time with wonderful people like Ann Behar, Michele Mortimer, Patricia Lorenz and Karen Docter.

  12. I love Sioux's jewelry! Oh, and I love this post! It was so much fun to see you again at the banquet. Wish I had made it to the workshops--sounds like you had a great time.

  13. Great post! I definitely learned some of those very same lessons!

    I think I would add Writing is hard but yes back to #2! Its fun too which is why we do it in the first place :)

  14. Victoria, I thought of you at the conference because Jane Friedman reminded me of you.
    Sioux, you help me to have more FUN because you are so funny (as is the rest of our critique group).
    Linda, you're an inspiration (as is the rest of our critique group - sound like a broken record).
    Bookie, guess it's part of being a writer.
    Donna, we missed you at the conference, but congratulations again on being the winner for the Erma Bombeck contest! Hope you had a good time.
    Erin - it is hard to keep up with all this social media stuff. Thanks for stopping in. Love your blog.
    Tammy, love your picture and see you at the critique group!
    Jess, I wish I had taken your advice, but I was too chicken and all the presenters are WAY too busy, so it was just as well.
    Teresa, glad I had a little more time to spend with you.
    Dianna, yes the jewelry is way cool - Sioux's a creative guru. Glad to see you too! And congrats on your awards - oh and Linda too, and Teresa!
    Jamie, thanks for stopping by and writing really is fun!

  15. I don't really have anything to add to this, but I wanted to break into the Girls' Club just for fun.

  16. Thanks for stopping by Gerry - great to have a man in the crowd! Welcome any time!

  17. GREAT post, Lynn...Love it! Regarding #2... we WWWPs really need to stop working so damn hard on Wednesday nights and try to have a little fun, huh? (tee hee).

  18. I love that necklace that Sioux made. How cool! I think I learned all those things, too! :) Thanks for sharing.

  19. Yes Beth, we need to have more fun :-)
    Thanks Margo for stopping by and I think Sioux needs to sell those!

  20. Hi Lynn, I am so happy for you that you had such a wonderful time at the conference!

    Kathy M.

  21. What is it about writing conferences that makes it impossible to leave without overfilling our suitcases? :) I love this post (and, by the way, I love the format of your blog, so lovely)for all it says to that kind of experience. Now I can't wait 'til the next time I get to run through one like a kid in a candy store: senseless, overwhelmed, and overjoyed! :)

  22. Kathy, thanks for stopping by.
    Khara, thanks for the kind words and for stopping by.

  23. Thanks for sharing so much with us! I need to put some of these ideas to work in my art! I'm having a giveaway, girlfriend...stop by when you can!

  24. Thanks Diane - I stopped by, but there was no give-a-way that I could find. But I'll check again!


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