It’s the morning after and a fitting place to begin the first entry to this blog. I feel a bit hung-over but not from booze, it’s the after effect of an amazing weekend of information overload at the annual Surrey International Writers’ Conference (www.siwc.ca).
If you write, I can’t recommend this conference enough. I rubbed shoulders with world class authors, powerful editors & agents and oodles of soon-to-be-famous writers and filled my head (and notebook) with great advice and vital knowledge.
Times might be bleak, but the outlook is positive for those of us who want to write for a living. In one of the sessions I attended (wearing my managing editor hat for www.PaperBoxBooks.com), Donald Maass was intrigued by my identification of a widening gap in the market. He commented that we might be on to something with our e-publishing company’s plan to give first time authors exposure and sales and an introduction to the business side of publishing.
The timing is spectacular as next weekend marks the beginning of NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org), the insane adventure of writing a 50,000 words novel in thirty days. This will be my third year participating. Not only is the deadline a great get-off-your-butt-and-write incentive, but the community that has developed around the challenge is extraordinary.
Here in Vancouver, we’ve extended the event all year. We don’t keep up the frantic pace, but we still get together every week and write, cheerlead, help and encourage each other. Kick-off party is Saturday, October 31st and there will be several events during the month to get to know your fellow writers–added bonus, weekly emails of encouragement from famous writers like Neil Gaimen.
Whether you live in Vancouver or not, check out the NaNo website for details on your local region. If you’re not interested in participating in the challenge, don’t ignore the website. It has lively discussion boards to answer writing and genre questions.
Now it’s time to organize my notes from the conference so I don’t feel so overwhelmed then buckle down to edit submitted material before I’m allowed to change gears again and outline my plan for this year’s NaNo.