Do you suffer through those writing moments where you need a high energy spark to get your word slinging back on track?
Like most writers, I’ve increased my caffeine intake to levels that make a howler monkey twitch. I’ve tried music until my ears bleed and my legs get cramps when I even think of a self-punishing yoga pose. Nothing works to sustain that creative flow for very long. Writing is a solitary, lonely business and outside of the cloistered word monasteries we haunt, no one has a clue how to deal with our particular pathology. Except for other writers.
image courtesy of Jess Mounifield
Wouldn’t it be great to mix with writers who have experienced the same things you have, overcome the identical obstacles and persevered, even flourished?
The 2013 Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference provided an opportunity to talk with people who speak the same language and share a mutual love of mystery, thriller and suspense. This wasn’t the first time I attended the Book Passage conference and every time, I take away something I can apply directly to my work-in-progress. There are two things which allow this gathering to work the way it does. The faculty includes best selling authors, literary agents and subject matter experts who leave their award winning status at home. They are genuine, open and supportive of new authors and fledgling writers.
Cara Black, David Corbett & Tim Maleeny on Revision
No hint of competition, snobbery or jealousy here. Everyone wants the other author to succeed. Imagine a place where you could freely toss plot points out and get new ideas on where your story could go next. Imagine a place where you can share a meal with well known authors, talking character development, refining your book pitch or find out how they manage to keep a series fresh and interesting to the reader.
Gillian Roberts & Hallie Ephron on Plotting
These experiences alone were worth attending and these were outside the classes and sessions in the conference curriculum. With topics like Dexterity with Dialogue, Plotting a Stand Alone vs. a Series, and Sustaining Your Writing Stream, you can’t help but come away newly armed for another jump into the word abyss.
Writers supporting one another, urging each other on with a kind nudge when needed. That is exactly what a writers conference should be, and this one left me recharged for the challenges ahead. If you can carve some time out to attend this conference, or one like it, it would be well worth the investment.