I have one other little confession about the conference. There were times I felt the lowest of lows there when I listened to folks reading examples of their work or their writing exercises aloud. Sitting in a workshop with pro writers is intimidating to put it mildly. And yes, the object of a workshop is to work on your craft, not worry about others.
The thing is for the last two years I’ve been fighting with my own demons when it comes to writing. No, not to all parts of my writing. My muse sends me story nibbles. I’ve rounded up enough story ideas for the next ten years. At least ten, more like twenty. And it’s not the actual act of writing so much. I can finish a first draft, and without a first you can’t revise. Revising...now that’s the challenge.
Yes, I know. I’ve never been a huge fan of revising, but it’s a necessary evil. I have learned to respect it. Can’t say I love it yet. But the last two years have been rough. It’s as if I’m fighting a shadow monster that can’t be killed. In truth, the monster in the shadows is me. It’s my sadness. My loneliness. My frustration. I can tell you all when it even started. The day my husband left for Iraq.
Don’t feel bad for me. Too many others have been and still are in my place. Some families have been going through this much longer. I’ve grown. I’m stronger. And yet, the creative part of me is still hanging out in limbo in some ways. I’m thinking that part of my muse is off on a Hawaiian vacation, sipping pretty drinks with umbrellas.
How do I fight this dilemma? That’s the conundrum. Here’s what I’m trying to do. Go to workshops. Online and in person. Getting out and meeting real people is a good idea...since you know...I spend way too much alone. Learn new ways to revise a novel. And never, ever give up. No, this will not beat me.