What Happens At A Writing Conference

I'm lucky enough to be in an organization for writers that hosts an amazing conference every year. I'm even luckier that I've been able to go seven times. Yes. I've been to SEVEN writing conferences. Each one has been unique and memorable, with new things learned I can immediately apply to my writing.

It's in September every year and is the highlight of my year. This year I wasn't sure if I would make it, but the money all appeared, I found the cheapest plane ticket I've ever seen out of my local airport, and off I went on Friday the 13th to Indianapolis.

This was the second time this conference has been in Indy. Last time was in 2010, which was a really bad year for me. A lot's happened since then, including me finishing almost four 95K+ novels and switching markets.

A couple of things really stand out. First was James Scott Bell's Quantum Story class all day Saturday. One of the best classes I've ever sat through and I have more notes from that one class than my last four conferences combined. New ideas flowed, a couple more things clicked. And then he got to the last forty-five minutes of the class where he talked about the secret to unforgettable fiction.

He put it in one word. Joy. Find your writing joy, and your fiction will be unforgettable. Well, I found my joy last May when A'yen walked into my head. It just took eight months to see it, and another four to finally make the decision to totally cross over and enter the ABA market.

The other thing to stand out was getting a chance to talk for a few minutes, TWICE, with the agent I've been courting for the last year. I was able to run my next idea by her, get some great feedback, and she advised taking one particular element out. Which I promptly did and WOW. The entire world fell into place and I'm even more excited about it than I was before. More details coming on it later.

As always it was an amazing experience. So much laughing, brainstorming in person, introducing John Barrowman to people who have never had the pleasure of gazing on his handsome face, and nowhere near enough sleep. Lack of sleep is part of the experience. And more than a few God moments, which for me are very important. It's very cool to have attended a Christian conference, in a market I used to write in, and receive confirmation--amidst so many talking about how Christians must write only Christian fiction--that crossing over is the right thing for me to do.

My writing self is re-energize and rejuvenated for another year. And more than ready to keep honing my craft and write books people can't put down.


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