Reflections from my first SiWC

As my final workshop at my first SiWC – aptly named “Now What?” came to close I found myself feeling overwhelmed at the thought of trying to process what I had learned over the last three days.

I was in pure information overload. There had been so many words of wisdom and encouragement. So many tidbits of advice and information. As I said goodbye to the new friends I made and returned to my real life I really couldn’t think what my post-SiWC moves were going to be.

As I sifted through it all the information to put it into some kind of perspective, I realized these things about my craft and the writing community in general:

  1. Even the most successful writers still work on their craft and are open to learning something new every day. I loved seeing so many established names and faces taking notes in workshops just like me.
  2. Every author has their own creative process that has evolved over time.
  3. This is an incredibly supportive community where everyone wants to see everyone else succeed.
  4. Agents and editors are just normal people like you and me. They just seem intimidating because we give them the power to crush our dreams.

And – maybe even more importantly – here are the things I learned about myself at SiWC:

  1. As much as I may hate to “network” I am actually pretty good at it when I try.
  2. I got way more out of a session when I went out of my comfort zone to share my work in a session and/or ask a question.
  3. Pitching is HARD and I’m not very good at it yet. That said, I still got three requests for submissions.
  4. Taking notes is important but so is going through them immediately after the conference to fill in the blanks while your brain is still fresh.
  5. Being open to new learnings and experiences led to some of my best conference moments.
  6. I am not a fraud. I belong in this group. I am a part of this tribe.
  7. I know how to write…and write well. But I still have lots of room to improve.
  8. I’m not going to quit my day job…yet.

What a weekend. I am reinvigorated. Ready to fix my current manuscript and submit it to the three that requested it.

And then I’m ready for NaNoWriMo again. Where book #2 will become more than just an abstract thought.

Thank you SiWC for being everything I hoped you would be. And so much more. See you in 2018.

2017-10-21 17.18.14

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