Writing Conferences

During my extensive daily blog reading and Twitter updates, I invariably run into posts from writers regarding conferences. Every time someone mentions they're heading off to "this conference" or "that conference" I find myself lost in the "if only's". If only I had a sitter, if only I had someone to watch the dog, if only I had money, vacation time, energy...well, you get the picture.

There are hundreds of writing conferences each year, maybe thousands. Most states hold several and there is even a big one, the Midwest Writers Workshop, going on in Indiana right now. Many are held abroad in places like Italy, Spain and Greece (tippy top of my bucket list).

Http://writing.shawguides.com has an extensive list of conferences and you can search by type, date or location to find your perfect fit. Sadly, I didn't run across any within a ten mile radius that offered free daycare.

Imagine my elation when I saw a reference to http://www.writeoncon.com while perusing Twitter one evening (see, it's not just a time suck). I hurried over to the website to check it out.

As I sat slack-jawed starring at the screen, I pinched myself to be sure I wasn't dreaming. How could this be? A totally free online conference set up to accommodate those of us who work during the day. Did I mention it's free? Just wow. I signed up immediately. It runs August 10-12, and I hope to learn a lot and make tons of new friends in the process.

Much thanks to the fantastic ladies who are putting this thing together: Jamie Harrington, Elana Johnson, Casey McCormick, Shannon Messenger, Lisa Roecker, Laura Roecker and Jennifer Stayrook.

I've been polishing up the first chapter of my novel and I hope to get some great feedback.

Planning or Procrastination?

I'm a planner. No doubt about it. I plan everything down to the last detail. Lists are my life and when I'm not writing one, I'm keeping a running one in my head. At. All. Times. Well, I do sleep...but sometimes I dream about stuff I need to put on a list. Let me tell ya, it's exhausting!

But planning is good, or so I've been told. Lots of people have said so,
He who fails to plan, plans to fail.

If you don't have a plan for yourself, you'll be part of someone else's.

Here's the thing. I've come to realize that I list so I don't have to actually DO
the things on the list. I get to feel like I'm doing something important without DOING anything. It's like spending all of your time on duotrope.com (LOVE you guys) without submitting anything to anyone. Sadly, that is procrastination.
Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

And my favorite,
Procrastination is like Masturbation; in the end you're just screwing yourself.

I will try harder, be stronger and stop procrastinating. This blog will help me do that. I am planning committed to doing at least three posts per week. Now maybe that new WIP will become a finished manuscript that I can send queries out for, hook my dream agent and get published. Not like I'm making a list or anything.


Reasons I started this blog:

1. I want to document my journey.

2. I want to rediscover my voice.

I have come to a point in my life where I feel like a fraud. Happy to coast through day to day as a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a co-worker. It's not that I don't love being all of those things, I do, but up to this point I have been defined by who I am to others instead of who I am.

Back in high school, I thought I knew exactly who that person was and what I wanted; college, marriage, career and kids. Happily ever after.

Well, the marriage interrupted the college. I had what my twenty-year-old brain thought was a pretty decent job with numerous chances for advancement, so I could skip that pesky degree, right?

The kids interrupted the marriage. To be fair to the aforementioned kids, we did kinda decide to have them, but all of you married-with-children out there know the dynamic definitely changes after those bundles of joy come along.

The job tanked three years later, the marriage tanked thirteen years after that, and now my teenage son, tween daughter and I are on our own. Of course we couldn't do it without much help from my incredible mom and my ultra supportive brother.

I'm in a place now that allows me to set out on this path to reconnect with who I really am through my writing, something I truly love. I have already met some fantastic new friends and writers the past couple of years. What a wonderful group of people. Truly amazing.

I am excited about this journey and hope to discover a lot of things along the way including love, happiness and my elusive muse.
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