Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Breathe Writers Conference

I had the opportunity to attend my very first writers conference over the weekend. The Breathe Writers Conference is held in our neighboring town and took me about 40 minutes to get there. I was looking forward to it, but also a bit nervous, too. I'm not a "go out there and meet new people" type of person. On Friday, it went from 12:30pm to 8:30pm and on Saturday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. There were 18 states represented at the conference! I meet people from Ohio, New York, Texas, Illinois, and Tennessee plus Michigan, of course. All of my sessions except one were in class 102! 

My hope was to make some connections with some people local to me so we could form a writers group. I had wanted to go to another session by Susie Finkbeiner, but it was the same time as the one by Amelia Rhodes. I was thinking later that maybe Susie's might have been more what I needed, but then I remembered that it was in Amelia's class that one of the other participants mentioned also wanting to find a writers group. This precipitated me asking her if she wanted to see about forming one together. We exchanged emails along with another friend of hers.

When filling out the registration, it asked if I wanted a one on one with an agent/publisher/author/etc and my instinct was to check 'no', but I figured it was a good way to learn, so I checked 'yes' instead! Mine was with Bob Evenhouse, a local author. I talked to him about where I was in my journey and what I need to work on.

I learned:

  • Reduce "time vampires" from my life so I can get more creativity time. 
  • Authenticity wins over perfection any time
  • It comes down to taste. Not everyone will like everyone's voice
  • Use words to create a deep and vivid "dream"
  • Take advantage of 'Idea Friendly Times'
  • Create in the way God created you to create
  • Strive for excellence
  • Take joy in quiet accomplishements
  • Ultimately, we have an audience of One


Susie Finkbeiner: Claim Your Voice

Cynthia Beach: Capturing the Intensity

Plenary Session: Editor's Panel

Amelia Rhodes: Making Time to Write

Dinner table decoration

Evening session monologue: Alison Hodgson

Keynote Speaker: Steven James


Sarah Grimm: Writing Flash Fiction that Sells

Bob Evenhouse: Worldbuilding

Plenary Session: Don Perini

I almost forgot to take a picture of Ann Byle: Best Practices for the Living the Writing Life
with her is Zach Bartels who I forgot to take a picture of during "Morning Words"

Last Session with Steven James

My "Idea Friendly Time Capture Machines" for writing down ideas as soon as I have them.

I bought some "craft" books based on recommendations from the weekend