Continuing from yesterday’s missive, I really needed a shot in the arm. A friend told said there was a writer’s conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan the first week in October and did I want to come? Well, the name intrigued me: Quit Whining, Start Writing. It was direct, blunt, and what I needed to hear. It would be my first writer’s conference. I was game.
We arrived late Friday afternoon at Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Airport, a supposedly upscale but slightly seedy hotel that was neither near the airport nor particularly well managed. We felt like Goldilocks with that being too this or this being not enough that. But the place was priced more reasonably than downtown hotels and we had a car, so things balanced out. We opted to skip the opening dinner that evening and freeze in the too cold pool and nearly pass out in the too steaming hot tub.
We arrived at the college building downtown near the river bright and early at 8:00AM. I don’t know if this is usually the case but the conference consisted of five one hour long section divided by 30 minute breaks to talk to the speakers/vendors. Each section had three sessions from which to choose. Choices ranged from copyright law to illustrating book covers to marketing. My schedule included Your Story Needs A Skeleton, Writing Mysteriously, Why Social Media Never Works Out the Way You Planned, and Writing About Place. The sessions were interesting but only so much material could be covered in an hour.
Writing Mysteriously (surprise surprise) was my favorite. Finally I would learn how to outline a mystery. Well, not exactly. I learned there is no one way to do anything. In fact, some teachers contradicted what I’d just heard in the previous session. This wasn’t a revelation – I’d read many differing books on writing – but somehow being in a room with baby writers like me who aspired to be *Authors* like the speakers seemed to make it more real for me. The possibility was real. So while I failed to come away with a mythical blueprint, I felt inspired -which is why I attended the conference – to start writing again. And here I am, back to blogging.