First, I am thrilled to announce that The Hub started his new job today.
How cool is that? In this economy, which, while improving, is hardly a guarantee of employment, he has a new job that was created just for him. I couldn’t be happier for him!
Second, we now return you to our (semi-)regularly scheduled blogpost:
I attended Bay to Ocean Writers’ Conference this past Saturday. It was the third time in four years that I’d made the commitment to, and investment in, myself and my writing by attending the once-a-year conference jam-packed with seminars and opportunities for networking.
This year, I had the pleasure of meeting a Facebook friend there. We have one in-person friend in common but have only communicated on FB ourselves, following our ‘meeting’ in That Curious Love of Green's Creativity Bootcamp in October 2015 and subsequent, year-round Creativity Salon. (And in more proof of our small world, I found in the February 2016 bootcamp a friend who lives practically around the corner from me -- and she'd heard about it not from someone stateside but from someone in Ireland!)
It was a joy to meet my FB friend in-person. We didn’t attend every seminar together; instead, we divided and conquered so we each got what we needed out of the day. She chose several poetry workshops; I chose magazine and fiction topics.
As I drove home, I considered the words of more than one presenter who urged attendees to write, write, and write some more. Because writers WRITE. They don’t sit and stare at the screen (or page) more worried about writing something perfect than about simply getting the words out there.
It’s a message I’ve heard many times over but one I still need to hear. I’ve been writing a lot more since I picked up the newspaper gig, but it's been for the paper, not for myself. I’ve enjoyed the paper writing more since I began waiting until only a day or two before deadline to do the actual writing. The less time I give myself to turn my conversation notes into a column, feature, secondary, or religion piece, the more I’m able to see the forest instead of the trees and write something that passes muster with my editors on the first go-round.
I call my sources anywhere from one day to a few weeks before I write the copy but if I start drafting too soon I end up writing, rewriting, and revising yet again, until I’ve proved the 80/20 rule (80% of the work takes 20% of the time and – what’s worse – the last 20% of the work takes 80% of the time).
If I apply the same last-minute dash to fiction writing, I’ll get somewhere with it. As I’ve gotten better at the newspaper writing, the novel(s) are once again spending a lot of time in the front of my brain, crying out to be written in my new-found ‘free’ time.
Writers write. I’m owning the writer identity, so there’s one thing left to do…write!
I know many of you who read this are writers yourselves. What holds you back from starting, finishing, and anything in between -- and, more importantly, how do you get past your roadblocks?