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:
- 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.
- Every author has their own creative process that has evolved over time.
- This is an incredibly supportive community where everyone wants to see everyone else succeed.
- 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:
- As much as I may hate to “network” I am actually pretty good at it when I try.
- 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.
- Pitching is HARD and I’m not very good at it yet. That said, I still got three requests for submissions.
- 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.
- Being open to new learnings and experiences led to some of my best conference moments.
- I am not a fraud. I belong in this group. I am a part of this tribe.
- I know how to write…and write well. But I still have lots of room to improve.
- 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.