Getting out of your comfort zone is not easy for anyone.
Going to a writer's conference can be intimidating. At least it is for me, a new author. I went last weekend. You want to know what kind of thoughts were going through my head?
Driving downtown...crap, was that light red? Did I just drive in a circle? Where is that parking garage?
Hearing about the other participants and speakers...
Formerly worked for the CIA, now writes action packed adventure novels. She looks so normal, I wonder if they're based on fact? I also wonder is she carries a gun.
A pastor who is working to bring one of the books of the Bible alive. We need more of that.
An author who has written more than fifty books and served as mentor to many best selling novelists including Stephanie Meyer (Twilight books) I'm in the same room with him. Stay calm.
Formerly a playwright. Wow.
Listening to the lectures...
Here is a list of fonts you absolutely should never use on your cover art. Wait, does anyone have a laptop? Did I use one of those?
Write these down. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Pinterest. Linkedin. Youtube. Google Plus. Do all of these. Now. Is she kidding? I thought Linkedin was to network for a job. I don't even know what Google Plus is. I'm starting to feel sick. Why did I come?
Google forms is cool and will take all your information and put it into a spreadsheet that you can manipulate. I don't know what google forms is either and I find it highly unlikely I can manipulate any spreadsheet. Seriously, does google do everything? Do I need a degree in IT to write books?
You will lose readers if you try surprise endings and bring someone back from the dead. Unless we're taking about Wesley and Buttercup (The Princess Bride). Okay, I can do that. Anyone that dies, stays dead. Check.
Let the cracks in their identity fall away to allow the reader to see their essence. Maybe after I've written a dozen books, I will understand that line. It sounds important. My neck is tight. I'm getting a headache.
Choose a sexy setting. Readers want to be transported into an exotic location like Italy or the Swiss Alps. Tulsa. I wrote about Tulsa. That's not exotic. I mean, I like it a lot but it's probably not on the top 50 vacation destinations.
The average book has 72 to100 scenes each with their own setting. OMG. Really? I feel like running for the door.
By the time the conference was over, I was mentally exhausted. I felt defeated, didn't know if I could do half the stuff they talked about. I wondered how I'd ever gotten to this place. I entered the elevator, leaned against the wall and shut my eyes for a moment. I opened them again when the door slid open on the next floor. A woman walked in bundled in a shabby winter coat. She wore a backpack and carried a sleeping bag.
She got off at the parking garage with me. Homeless men and women take shelter in the library during the day but when the library closes, they have to leave the warmth of the building. Dallas was expecting severe weather, a winter storm advisory. I'm worried about doing a good job writing books that a reader will enjoy...and she's probably wondering how she will survive the night.
When I got home, my husband had gone shopping and bought prepared food so that I didn't have to worry about cooking for our guests that night. I wonder if she had anything to eat that night?
We all went to a show and listened to a performer that has traveled around the globe. If you live on the streets, when do you get to listen to music?
Afterward, my girlfriend and I walked ahead of the rest of the group, ended up standing outside waiting for them to unlock the car. The breeze went through my pants, made my eyes water and my fingertips grow numb. How cold is she tonight? Does she have some place to go?
I'm so very, very blessed. If you're reading this, I bet you are too. I need to remember that when I let the little stuff wear me down. Writing is terribly, wonderfully fun and I love the idea of getting better at it but I'm not going to stress about it-not when there are so many people with real hurts and needs.