Last weekend I unplugged for awhile to attend DFWCon, a writers’ conference in Dallas. I came away exhausted, exhilarated, refreshed, energized, recharged, intimidated, and overwhelmed. That’s a lot of emotions for one short person to hold all at once. I confess the first thing I did when I got home was play World of Warcraft in my PJs. You know, to decompress. I managed to get my druid to level 83! Two more levels and I’m done with the quest grind, but that’s a topic for another blog.
If you’re a writer, this is one of the best conferences to attend. I felt like I was with 400 of my closest friends. They have the same struggles I do, and were seeking the same things I was. It was the most supportive environment I’ve ever experienced. Plus, I met some amazing people. Some I’d known only on Twitter, and some I’d never met before.
I shook hands with James Rollins (yes, THE James Rollins) and learned so much from his session. He’s charming, and funny, and a fantastic writer, plus he loves cats. And he draws skulls. You want to meet him now, right? Yes, you do.
I listened to Laurie McLean (agent), Kristen Lamb (social media ninja), and Kait Nolan (author of paranormal romance) and had an epihany about my own life and direction. It was the sort of lightbulb that is supposed to go off in college but for me, didn’t. These three amazing women managed to clear waters for me that I had muddied up in my head over the past year until I couldn’t see the bottom. Now the water is clear, and I have a plan and a direction and hope for the future. That’s not bad for an hour, wouldn’t you say?
I took a networking class with Brenna Smith, who taught us how to network at conferences. In less than 30 minutes she made me feel comfortable walking up to a group of people and joining in the conversation. You would think that I would have learned that by now but no, they don’t really teach you that in college, either.
There was so much good advice offered in this two day conference that it’s hard to cull it all down into a few paragraphs. However, one line did stand out for me. The very funny and wise Jodi Thomas said these words and they resonated so much I have to share them. Plus I think they apply to more than just a pre-published writer:
Creativity is not a bucket. It’s a river. Jump in!
Ideas won’t ever stop, or run out. When you send one out, you get more coming back. They are constantly flowing by and if you just jump into the river you’ll catch as many as you want or need. You won’t run out of stories. Ever. So stop worrying, and start writing.
Well, okay then. I think I will.
Stay tuned, exciting life decisions will be revealed in future blogs. Or photos of cats. Or both, really, you never can tell.