I’m speaking at the Breathe Writers Conference today on flash fiction. And as fun as it is to share what I know, the things about which I am most excited are learning new things and being around other writers.
I’ll take a stab at the second thing first. There is a sense of belonging when you spend time with people who share your struggles and goals. And this conference is just small enough to foster relationships with strangers (who may one day become writing pals). At writers conferences, no one gives you the gimlet eye for pursuing such unlikely dreams as publishing books. Instead, people ask about what you are writing, what books interest you, and what you are hoping to learn.
And that brings me to the first thing about which I am excited. I love learning new things. Since I came to an interest in writing after my college years, I missed out on many basic principles of the craft. And even when I hear things that I know, it is good to hear them again from a fresh perspective.
For example, I’m excited to hear the Keynote Speaker, Latayne Scott, on Friday night. She’ll be speaking about the Rule of Three. Sound familiar? If you read this blog regularly, it should. I used it just yesterday in the flash story about the sea serpent, and I linked from there to an earlier post in reference to my experience with Rumpelstiltskin. So, even though I have an idea of what the Rule of Three is, I have no clue what Latayne is going to say about it or how it’s truth will make me a better writer. But I’m excited to find out!
Mainly, what I hope to get out of the Breathe Conference is encouragement. It will be wonderful to add some new tools my me writing belt, but if I am not motivated to write, they will never be used. I’m excited to connect with other writers and share story ideas and discussions about the craft. And all that interaction can be incredibly healthy for a group of people who sit alone for hours on end staring at a page as they slowly fill it with words.
If you are attending the Breathe Conference today, I’d love to meet you and hear about what brings you out. And if you can’t make this year, stay tuned for future conferences. It’ll be worth it.