So when I purposely join a group of writers for a couple hours or more, it’s a bit of a emotional overload. I go from my own thoughts to learning about other writers, what they’re passionate about, what they enjoy reading and writing, and what they are currently working on.
And at those times, I wish I was a sponge and able to absorb *everything* and review it later. I do the best I can, of course, and scribble notes when I have the chance.
I attended a full-day writers’ conference on Saturday and am still recovering. I got there early and met several people right away.
- A neurologist who writes about addiction and recovery; he blogs and speaks to people who need his expertise – turning medical terminology into layman’s speak. And he’s 2/3 of the way through a book on the same topics he speaks about.
- A career-long technical writer adjusting to writing historical fiction and finding it challenging to shift away from linear writing with rules to the freedom that fiction allows.
- A newly published author who was attending the conference for the second time. Last year, her book was in process and after last year’s workshops and networking, the book has been published with a second scheduled with a publisher.
- A local radio personality who enjoys meeting people and coming out from behind the microphone is now transitioning into the writing world.
- An almost-MFA-graduate who was there to practice pitching a YA fantasy novel and to hopefully find leads into teaching opportunities.
Andres Dubus III was the keynote speaker. I’m not familiar with his work, but after hearing him speak, I want to learn more about his work. He was very down to earth and direct. I found it refreshing and motivating.
The workshops I took gave me new ideas for works in process and works not yet drafted. My workshops focused on characters, YA (young adult) & MG (middle grade) fantasy writing, and using maps as stories.
I also got to network with people in my area. It’s so nice to find local-to-me writers interested in getting together for coffee, or better, a writing group. It’s hard to find each other when we’re at home hiding behind our screens!
Bottom line is that I came away from the conference exhilarated with an abundance of information to evaluate. I recorded the workshops, but not my conversations, and it’s usually the conversations that have the priceless ‘nuggets.’
Back to my sponge analogy: after days like this, if I were a sponge, I could wring my thoughts into a bucket and take time to see what I captured. As it is, I usually need food to re-energize, and then quiet time to let everything settle — keeping a notepad and pen nearby to write down the thoughts that bubble to the surface.
Do you take time the same day to capture your ideas/thoughts after going to a workshop or conference? Or do you give yourself a day or more to let things settle?
Lisa J. Jackson makes a living helping businesses express themselves with words and writing about NH. She has decided to complete several 5Ks in 2013 as a way to get off the couch and away from the screen. She drinks iced coffee year-round, and needs a stash of Peppermint Patties in the fridge at all times. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, Biznik, Facebook, and Twitter.