Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fall Philly Conference

I was a nervous wreck weeks before. What would it be like? Did I even belong there? Would there be anyone in my household who wouldn't try to talk me out of going?

I was looking forward to the Fall Philly Conference for months, and it was finally here. It was time to hush those nagging voices- from both - inside and outside of me.

"The conference will be fun and educational," I responded to my inner critic. "Of course I belong there. "

"I'm going so I can meet and talk to other people in the writing industry and to learn valuable information," I said in not so many words to family who preferred I stay home with them. "Don't worry--I'm coming back!"

That statement was true, but I never realized how much I was not going to want to leave. The day flew by. I enjoyed all the seminars. I met many interesting writers and illustrators. It was refreshing to be around people who understood the writing process and everything that it takes to be a successful writer.

I think the most rewarding part of the conference for me was our Keynote Address speaker Laurie Halse Anderson. Her speech comparing the stamina it takes to write a novel to running a marathon was inspirational. She stressed what it took to be successful at what you do and how to manage your time so that you are doing what you set out to do--write!

Maybe it was because some things were similar to what we all go through -- family needs us and expects us to put the writing on hold whenever a need arises. I found it energizing that we all go through the same thoughts, doubts and obstacles. So, thanks Laurie, for the inspiration to take control of our careers and reach for the stars.

Thanks SCBWI! I can't wait for the next one!

Friday, September 14, 2007

School's Back In Session

The mornings are quiet. The birds are tweeting. There are no arguments between sisters. School's started again. I'm now free to dedicate more time to my writing without interruptions.

That is until my two--year--old son wakes up and immediately demands my attention. It seems the minute I'm on a roll, he finds chaos for me. I finally start typing more than two words a minute, when my son decides to chase the dog, have a scream-out-the -window contest with our next door neighbor, or sneak upstairs and throw items in the turtle's aquarium.

With only one child in the house during my writing hours, one might think my schedule is less hectic. Unfortunately, having one toddler in the house seems like having 10 children. So I still find myself exercising my creativity to sneak in my writing. But that's alright. He's so happy to see the girls at the end of the day that I get a brief hour to write when they walk in the house.

No matter what, if writing is your life...your dream...make time to include it. Toddlers are a great distraction, but if you write or brainstorm on the floor while they play at Jungle Gym Parent, then you've successfully got in some writing time. That time might even give you a bonus: an idea for a story!

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