It's 5:40 AM on a Wednesday. I have been up for an hour. I have an outline for a work in progress that I intended to work on this morning. I was in the middle of a chapter that I started at lunch and had every intention of continuing this morning. But, much like me, it seems the characters wanted to sleep in today. They wanted to just hunker under the covers as the rain danced its hypnotic melody on my roof. The swoosh swoosh swoosh of the ceiling fan keeping time with the rest of the nocturnal orchestra.
So, I shifted gears. I am taking a course on getting more words on the page. Something that I want to do need to do if I am to get all of these books that are floating around in my head out in to the world. It's not so much that I think the whole world will love and adore them, although I certainly hope that is the case. No, it's more the fact that it's getting crowded up there. I need to get these words on the page for my own sanity as much as anything else.
Sanity, mental health. Seems like it's every where in the news, fake or otherwise.
It was also at a writer's convention I found myself at this past weekend.
Oh. That's right.
I'm a writer.
That sentence seems so innocent, so simple, doesn't it? Four words, three if you use the contraction.
I am a writer.
A year ago, I might not have believed you -or me-if I had said those words. Well, that's not true. Two years ago, I definitely would have called bullshit. Last year about this time, I was actually starting to believe it.
In October of 2016, after attending the Imaginarium convention in Lousiville, Kentucky, I came back to my fairly average existence in Ohio with the understanding, the spark, that I might actually be a writer. Not just someone who puts words on a page, but a real writer.
It was a pretty mind-altering moment. I'm sure I blogged about it then too. Extensively from what I remember.
This past weekend, nearly one year later, I attended the 2017 version of the Imaginarium convention. A writer-centric convention. It was at a different venue, although still in Louisville.
I'm not the same person I was a year ago. I don't think any of us are.
What I found the most fascinating was the fact that as I picked out the panels and workshops that I wanted to attend this year, I had a different mindset.
Last year I wasn't sure if I was really a writer. The panels and workshops I selected really focused on validation. I was looking for confirmation that I was a 'real' writer (whatever the hell that means). And apparently I found it.
This year, I sat in on panels and workshops that were designed to help me improve my craft. I cross-referenced the list of things I wanted to learn that would strengthen my skills as a writer with the people on the panels. I wanted to make sure that I was learning from people that I respect and admired. The people who inspire me. The people who I can look at when I get stuck and say, "What would Monica do?" "What would Tim do?" "What would Gary do" "How would Jack approach this?" And so on, you get the idea. Not that I would actually copy those people. They are my mentors. The people that I look to for guidance.
I am to the point in my writing now, where I know what I need to do. Sometimes I just need a gentle nudge to actually do that thing.
And that's where this conference was cool. I got to meet those people. I got to interact with them and connect with them on a personal level.
That's what made it real. To know that I inspire someone as much as they inspire me. That's some powerful ju ju right there, my friends. And sure, there's the normal con-bullshit that comes with every convention, but I didn't even see it, or rather, I didn't care about it. I looked past it and continued on my mission-get as much learning and information as I can to become a better writer.
Time will tell if I took the lessons to heart or not. But the fact that I got up 90 minutes before I actually needed to be up just so that I could put words on a page ought to be a indicator that I'm heading in the right direction.
I may or may not have more insights from the con as I go back through my notes and recordings, but now, suffice to say that it was the perfect little booster shot I needed to keep me going on this journey I find myself on called 'being a writer.'
I hope you have an awesomesauce day my friends. And I hope that you embrace that which you only think you might be and go at it with everything you've got.
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