The Zoom of Writing Conferences

OWFI 2015 will forever be the writing conference that dreams are made of.

I’m still pinching myself, carrying around that one business card I never thought I’d ever get no matter how long I queried, wrote, begged, cried … you know the drill. It’s sitting beside my computer right now.

Yeah, I know, having an agent ask for a full manuscript doesn’t mean my novel will ever be published or if it is, it will sell well or any of that other stuff that “might” happen. But it’s still my first. It will still be enshrined as possibility.

Writing conferences zoom for me. I peel off my chrysalis, open my eyes, and flutter from one thing to the next. Last year was my first one full on. I didn’t know a soul but somehow I won several things in contest. I was so overwhelmed it’s hard to even remember details of anything that happened or that I did or didn’t do. One big blur.

This year I watched, my brain buzzing, soaking in all the sights and sounds and words. Glorious words. Amazing thoughts.

Thoughts that spun through my head so fast I couldn’t catch them. Others so heavy they embedded themselves in my skull.

Outlining not as a scaffold, but as the stack of lumber and nails.

Agents aren’t terrifying monsters out to eat us.

Writers share my soul.

The line between lying and story telling is finer than a whisper.

Voluptuous can describe a day.

People actually read and love horror stories.

Music can soothe the most ragged of nerves.

And yet, for all the buzz, all the zoom, all the excitement … it all boils down to moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other, day after day after day. Because if you stop, you die.

If you quit, it’s over.

Lives can be changed in a heartbeat at a writing conference but they aren’t life. In a way they aren’t even reality. A hotel full of story tellers at their best, or even their worst, is the greatest story ever told.

And then life goes on … ob-la-de ob-la-da


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