Monday, February 7, 2011

Writers in a Vacuum

Writers can’t write in a vacuum. We need real life experience to hold up what we are writing. We need each other to support, critique, and comment on our work. Writers are people who need people. As that old song goes, “people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”

This is the year that I am focusing on building my writing career so that means this is the year that I am also building my circle of writer friends. One of the things I have written about before is that I fear rejection and that makes it hard for me to let others read what I write. I do believe though, that God gave me this talent for a purpose and keeping my writing to myself really doesn’t fulfill God’s purpose. I began this blog in 2007 as a way to begin putting myself out there and working past the fear. That has helped. Still, I’ve been slow in building a circle of writer friends because of this fear.

To step out of my vacuum I attended a conference sponsored by the local chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. The conference was Saturday and the speaker was Karen Ball. Can I just say that I should have joined this group a long time ago? I enjoyed the energy in the group and I loved Karen!

Karen is Senior Acquisitions Editor at B&H Publishing Group and a multi-published novelist. She came in with an energy and spunk that kept the day moving and exciting. She was honest and open not only about her work, but also her own life and her faith. She was amazing! I came away with 2 of her books and am excited to read them.

The topic for the day was “Taming the Fiction Dragons”. It was full of things that any fiction writer who has studied the craft has heard or learned. The thing I loved about this was that she gave real examples. She demonstrated show versus tell in a way that brought new light to it for me. Her latent actor came out when she talked about how to make dialogue ring true. Her presentation wasn’t just lecture. It was a combination of information, demonstration, and interaction. I was enthralled throughout the full 8 hour day.

Having the pleasure of hearing Karen speak would have been worth the time and money spent, but I also got to meet some local writers. I will definitely be checking out the group that meets once a month and look forward to getting to know these folks better. It was fun to meet other writers and hear what they were working on, what their challenges are, and how they integrate -their writing with their day-to-day life.

All in all it was a fabulous day. Can you hear it? The vacuum has been broken and air is beginning to hiss in.

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