Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dory, and the value of writer's events:

I spent today at The Word Writers Fair, sitting in on author panels and workshops and mingling with writers from as far afield as Adelaide, Sydney, and New Zealand (dedication, peoples). One of my favourite paths of writer's events is the opportunity to hear the stories of authors' paths to publication. Everything has a different story to tell, but they all leave me with the same sense of possibility and of hope -- and also the reminder that usually it's the hard work, not the raw talent, that makes the difference between lonely scribbler and published author.

It was very cool to meet two of my classmates, women who are taking the same creative writing classes, as well as two girls who reminded me just how very high-octane fourteen year-olds can be (hi, Abby and Xanthea!). Their enthusiasm was catching, and they mingled merrily with the adults at the event. I also discovered that Christian writers might just be the friendliest; I'd never before been to a writer's event where so many people boldly introduced themselves and struck up random conversations. That was pretty great.

I didn't learn any world-shaking insider tips that blew my mind -- nor did I meet a publisher who wanted to fall at my feet and worship whatever words drip from my golden pen of wonder (judge thou not my writerly fantasy) -- but I found that an entire day immersed in a discussion of words and word-making worked its old enchantment. I came home more inspired than ever before to be a Christian woman who writes fiction (and writes it well, I hope, someday) rather than a woman who writes Christian fiction. The Christian worldview doesn't need to be wedged into whatever we do. Rather, if a healthy worldview is present in the writer, it will be present in the words.

Most of all, I walked away reminded that the best writer's philosophy is something similar to that of Finding Nemo's Dory: Just keep swimming. If I keep swimming, it makes sense that -- eventually -- I'm going to get somewhere.

(Excuse me now, please. I'm going to investigate my Fair showbag and my free books. Also, did I mention there are licorice allsorts?)

* * * * *


Staish -- seriously. It's been two years (well, two years of study. Officially it'll be two years in April. Remember I started at a weird intake time and took that Summer semester?).

Julia -- it's the best thing, isn't it? I could probably be an eternal student with very little persuasion.

Mothercare -- well you have passed your dorkiness onto me, because I got all excited reading your comment about covering books with brown paper and decorating them with magazine pictures.

Katie -- it's always surprising -- and even a little embarrassing -- that one can come to love something previously considered dorky or boring. :)

Samantha R -- hee! It makes me grin that many of your reasons for not wanting to go to college fit in with my reasons for liking it. But yes, it's definitely hard to lock myself away from people and study.


  1. It is always good to have fresh inspiration. Glad you had a good day.

  2. Sounds like an awesome writing fair; and I'm sure you walked away with loads of inspiration and encouragement; not to mention licorice! ;)
    Here's to your writing future!

    Well, I think maybe I'd like college once I convinced myself to take the plunge and do it! =P

  3. Free books! Jealous!!!!!!! I used to work at a bookstore and when the publishers threw Christmas parties, we all got to go and eat free food and get free books. That was worth the hard slog alone :)

    The writers fair sounded really good and glad you had a great time. Also... your writer's fantasy sounds a lot like mine... intriguing :)

  4. brilliant thanks for sharing xxxx

  5. Sounds fun! And I appreciate your thoughts on the distinction between a Christian woman writing fiction and a woman writing Christian fiction.

  6. A writing conference! How wonderful! One of my hopes for next year is that I'll get to go to one of those. :-) Thank you for sharing some of the pearls that you learned!

  7. I am very jealous of your conference.

    Also wanted to say that I love meeting other writers (published authors or not) simply for the sake of finding a kindred spirit and being able to say, "Yes! Someone who understands me!"


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