Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Writing Conferences: The Story of Mamanda

Year of the Thumbs Up:

Hey, long time no type. April was just a little CRAZY. It was an all thumbs on deck sort of month with teaching and working and writing and mom-ing and breathing. So no thumbs were given.

But this month: Let's give a big thumbs up for Writer's Conferences!! The season of conferences and travel is fast approaching for writers and readers. So if you are on the fence, here's a little story:

There was once a girl, lets call her Mamanda, who read a short story in class and the popular girls made fun of her. She never read anything out loud ever again until she entered a writing program and she had to. It was the most nerve wracking day of her adult life.

As her hands shook, she waited for some one to tell her that she was the worst thing to put ink on a page.

But they didn't, because they too were putting their thoughts to paper and knew the courage it took to face the fear of not only public speaking (Introverts Unite Separately!) but also sharing a deeply personal part of your creative self.

Mamanda had found her tribe who accepted her, shared a common language and would not think she was insane when she kept talking about Supreme Ordeals and the dreaded Act IIb. Now, Mamanda writes her happy little stories of death and destruction and shares them with the world (or will, soon, my friends, soon).

This is the power of Writer's Conferences. This past weekend I was invited to speak at the DFW Writer's Convention and it reminded how awesome it is to be surrounded by people who share your passion for story telling. I've been to Romantic Times and Romance Writers of America, but this year, I wanted to do a few smaller events since I'm between contracts.

I met writers in all stages of their journey. I met agents who were really just excited to be there and talk to others about story and arcs and the industry. And I learned! I took a million notes from others just like me who had cracked some part of their story process and wanted to SHARE it with others. that was the major thing. Everyone was just so damn supportive of good pitches and new deals and completing a manuscript. There were THUMPS UP all over the place.

I walked out of that conference with more gusto about writing than I have all year. And completely unable to talk for three days due to human interaction overload, but my brain was a firing!

So this month's Thumbs Up goes to : Writing Conferences, equally exhausting and exhilarating. If you are an aspiring writer or an accomplished one, just give it a chance. You never know -you might sit next to your new tribes-person.

Amanda Arista
Author, Those Who Wander Universe

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