Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Doing the Hard Things and Looking for You

I spent last weekend in conference classes, learning about the craft of writing and hanging out with amazing people.

The first class I took was all about becoming computer wise as an author. I'm trying to do better, but I must admit, I'm still struggling (especially with that whole Twitter thing. I wanna be a Twit too). But I'll keep working on it until I get it.

One of my goals was to catch up on my blog-buddies blogs (*whew* that's a lot of Bs). So last night I spent a few good hours reading posts and adding new people to my list of reads. I must admit, I was really pleased with all the great writers out there in the blog world. I'm so excited to meet new authors/writers! (p.s. I missed reading all my good bloggy friends' posts...You know who you are - if you don't - it's you.)

I also went to Elana J.'s class on writing queries. She was excellent, not only did she keep us awake with wise and witty humor, she passed out candy!!!! Most awesome class! When she comes to your town, you'll have to check it out.

I learned I am a solid writer (that's good right? A solid writer?) But reminded myself that I should not bring a first draft with me to have the editor critique...bring the polished funny one (what was I thinkin'?). But now I know...I'm solid.


Another thing I learn was - pack more than one pair of pants! (I accidentally left them on my bed, waiting for the suitcase along with my clean underthingies. Yeah. I shouldn't pack the day of a conference...there's too many things to forget.)

L.T. is a great person to share a room with (but we didn't get room service, maybe next time - we did get subs and talked for hours about writing after the conference. (I love rubbing shoulders with awesomeness.)

I think the most important thing I learned this year is that I can do the hard things (quoted from Elana J's class). It's true. Writing is hard, trying, time consuming. Plus all the difficult stuff that comes with querying, critiquing....the rest...but we (as writers) can do the hard things. I'll post more on this next week.

Tell me...what has been the best advice/stuff you've learned in this journey of writing?

Okay...I'm off to do the hard things (yes laundry, that means you. Stinkin' pile of dirtiness). Have a great week everyone! =)

35 comments:

Jaydee Morgan said...

Sounds like it was a great time! The best advice I've ever received is "just finish it". Yes, it's hard work but it's all for not if we never finish our manuscript.

Carrie Harris said...

Whee! So glad it was a good conference! Frankly, I'm a little jealous. :)

Candyland said...

I'd looovvveee to see Elana in person. How awesome! Best advice? "Don't let anyone poop in your ice cream."

Jen said...

Looks like you learned a lot and had quite a bit of fun! I love that you got to attend Elana's class!! I'm super jealous of you right now!!

Best piece of advice: Even when you think the story sucks you're still learning.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I love going to conferences. Totally jealous that you got to take Elana's class!

Danyelle said...

*grin* I think laundry and dishes has me licked. :p

For me, that was the biggest thing I got: I can do hard things. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it though. I also really enjoyed David Wolverton's seminar about how to broaden your audience by making very small changes. Great stuff all around, but the best part was meeting so many great people--like you. :D

Sara B. Larson said...

It sounds like Elana did awesome! Wish i could have been in two places at once... I'm glad these conferences won't conflict again next year! :-)

There is so much advice out there, and different pieces of advice mean more at different times. I'll have to think about which one is the "best." Great post!

Kristina P. said...

I am lucky if I write a blog post a week, anymore!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I've learned that critique groups are a must-have item! :-)

Becca said...

I'm so glad it was a success for you. Best writer advice for me? Don't be afraid to write a terrible first draft. There will be time to make it better.

Yamile said...

I loved this conference too. How much talent in one single place! And yes, Elana's workshop was awesome. I'm working on my evil query letter again, but I know I can do hard things. Right?

Elana Johnson said...

That's right people! You CAN do hard things! Go Yamile -- I want to see that letter when you "finish" it.

Glad you got something useful from the conference, Carolyn. Sorry about the pants... :) I thought you looked fabulous!

Stacey said...

I am definitely going to that conference next year! I was sad to miss it, but loved the one I DID go to the same day!

The best advice I have heard was from the fantabulous Ally Condie at the conference I went to. "You aren't God. Learn it now, and you will be a lot happier with your successes." ;)

For some context, she was talking about comparing yourself to others, and that there is always someone more sucessfull in this buisness than you are, Stephenie Meyer, JK Rowling, and of course the number one selling book of all time, the Bible.

I miss you babe! We need to get together this next month!

Tiana Smith said...

I wish I could have gone to that conference, I'm jealous :) And I'm sad I missed Elana, she's a fun gal. It's funny that you're trying to get into Twitter and stuff, I've found that it's taking over my writing time so I'm trying to cut back. We'll see if it works or if I'll be sucked in again :) Glad you had a good time at the conference.

Jennifer Shirk said...

That is so cool you got to take Elana's workshop!
I learned to carry cough drops (the air in those rooms always send me in a coughing fit) and to wear LOTS of layers because I get cold and hot often. :)

Tess said...

That conference is getting rave reviews ... how very fun to have been able to attend. And, candy? even better :)

elizabeth mueller said...

Hi Carolyn! It was so nice getting to know you better at Los Hermanos! :D I had lots of fun at Storymakers, too... I agree with you on Elana, she's a great teacher!

Suzyhayze said...

I"m fighting down the green eyed monster here!!!! ;)

Jamie Burch said...

Glad to hear you had such an amazing time! Ooh...you are so lucky you got to attend Elana's workshop.

Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Carolyn: sometimes the hard thing is letting the dishes stack up because you're in the middle of a scene. I hate it when that happens. The kitchen is calling again. Can I ignore it? Yes...well...maybe. Great post! :0)

Creepy Query Girl said...

I'm so jealous! I'm glad you had a great time. Best advice- What I tell myself everyday 'you can do it. So do it already.'

salarsenッ said...

I missed you yesterday, so I'm here now. Glad to hear you had such a wonderful time and so glad you've share some of your experience with us. I think the best advice for me has been to believe in my abilities and others will...and the *other* I need to help me get my manuscript published will eventually see me shine. ";-)

Shari said...

Wow. Look at how popular you are! I've learned that to be a writer you must be persistent.

Mary Campbell said...

I wish I could of gone on friday and gone to Elana's class - i bet it was awesome - she's awesome. Also wish I could've spent more time with you and Laura, but i had a great time and learned a ton.

Shelley Sly said...

How awesome that you're making so much progress in the writing world! You're a great example to the rest of us.

I'd love to attend Elana's workshop. If it's anything like her blog, I bet it's super valuable, helpful advice. :)

Lisa and Laura said...

Wow, this conference sounds more and more amazing the more I read about it! You guys are so lucky that you got to meet so many amazing people. I want Elana to be my teacher!!!

Lola Sharp said...

I don't know how to tweet/twitter either. I'm not sure I have time right now to deal with it.

I'm glad you had a great time! :o)

Love,
Lola

Tahereh said...

oh great post!! it's always awesome to collect all the good advice from around the blogosphere and condense into one nugget of genius.

thanks for sharing your genius :D

Jenn Johansson said...

Gah! I did this big brilliant comment and the blogosphere ate it.

I'm too depressed to write it again.

Just remember, it was brilliant. :P

Theresa Milstein said...

Everyone on your side of the country seems to have gotten a lot out of this conference. I'd love to meet Elana in person.

Best writing advice? Don't write with parents or librarians on your shoulder. Don't let the censors dictate what you put on the page.

Another one, don't forget to live. Can't just write. Feed the soul in other ways too. Exercise, look at art, go out.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Like Theresa, I would enjoy meeting Elana in person. She is right, too, in that you can only write, drawing from your insights. And to gain insight and perspective, you must live and live a life with seeing eyes and feeling heart. Have a productive weekend, Roland

Patti said...

So jealous that you got to go, I hope to make it next year. If we keep doing the hard things, eventually they become easier, at least that's what I keep saying to myself.

L.T. Elliot said...

I had a great time being your "roomie" and the conference itself was wonderful! I'm glad you liked it too! *hugs*

Medeia Sharif said...

That's so cool that you got to meet Elana and other great people. I'm going to another conference in a few weeks. It's nice to spend a weekend with other writers to learn about the craft.

CailinMarie said...

just stopped in via comments you left on another blog. WOW! You write with ENERGY!!! I'm gonna follow. Did you link to your twitter profile? I'll follow you on twitter too :-)