Wednesday, August 7, 2013

IWSG: Be Positive and the Virginia Writers Symposium

 
It's the first Wednesday of the month, so you know what that means ... it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group meeting. IWSG was created by the awesome ninja captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can find out the other members of the group here.
 
When I was a child, I remember watching the movie Fern Gully. A few lines of the dialogue stuck with me, even though I can't remember which characters said them.
 
Are you sure?
 
Positive.
 
Only fools are positive.
 
Are you sure?
 
Positive!
 
Maybe only fools are positive, but I'm positive it never hurts to be positive. And last month tested my abilities of being positive.

I'd signed up for July's Camp NaNoWriMo. My goal was 50,000 words, although I'd hope to write a lot more than that. What I did manage to write was a few hundred words shy of 25,000 words. Half my goal. A quarter of what I'd really hoped to accomplish. But as the month went along and I realized I wasn't going to make my goal, I also realized that was all right. I wrote 25,000 words in one month. This year, I've written more in January-July than I have ever written before. The only year that came close to my word count from January-July was 2009, the year I started writing. That's pretty awesome. Each word written is one word less to "The End." And I'm good with that.

On August 3, I also was on a panel about ebooks at the Virginia Writers Symposium. I was a bit nervous about it. Being an introvert, conferences, although a ton of fun, can be very draining. I was exhausted by the end, but it was probably one of the best conferences I'd been to.

The first class I attended was Websites, Blogs, and Social Media. I got some ideas on how to improve my website (going to create a more standard home page and add about and contact pages, which are currently on my home page). I also would like to consider more things to do when it comes to my newsletter, but that's a post for another day.

The second class I attended was my own panel: Nuts and Bolts of E-booking. We had a large group of people interested in learning more about ebooks, which was very exciting. We got tons of questions too from the attendees. Seriously, this panel alone could've taken an entire day. Two things stuck out the most for me while being a part of this panel. One, people really want to take their careers in their own hands, but they don't know how/afraid to learn. Two, there is a huge divide in knowledge of those who have been keeping up on what's going on in the current publishing realm and those who are set in how publishing was two, five, even ten years ago or more.

After my class, we had our keynote speaker, the fantastic Kathleen Grissom. This was the fourth time I've heard her story on how she wrote The Kitchen House, and I get chills every single time. If you ever get a chance to hear Kathleen speak, jump at it.
 
Then, we had lunch, and I met up with a couple friends who I'd first met at the James River Writers Conference a couple years ago. It was great to catch up with them, and we continued the fun by going to the same last panel together.
 
The last panel was Publishing Scams to Avoid, brought to us by Dave Kuzminski, the founder of Preditors and Editors. One thing that I thought was so awesome about Dave was Preditors and Editors will look over contracts for writers and flag problematic clauses based on what they'd seen in other publishing contracts. That is a wonderful service to writers and one I had no clue they offered.

Last we had the networking session. I sold four books, signed three of them, gave out bookmarks/business cards, and talked to various people. It was fun, but I was also anxious to start heading home. I'm so thankful for the opportunity, though, and I'm positive I would jump at the opportunity to be on another panel again.

So what have you been positive about lately?

35 comments:

Rachel Morgan said...

So glad to hear the conference was a good one :-)

Nicole said...

Aw, Ferngully - I love that movie! I think it was Batty who gave those words of wisdom. ;)

The conference sounds like a great experience.

stu said...

I'm positive about the power of pessimism, if that helps.

Kristy Gillespie said...

It was great hanging out with you, Cherie! ;)

DMS said...

The conference sounds like it was a wonderful experience. I always learn so much at each conference and it is inspiring to be around other authors and writers. :)

Love your positive thinking! 25,000 words is something to be proud of for sure. :)
~Jess

Julie Flanders said...

Wow this conference sounds wonderful. So glad you had such a good experience! Also great that you sold some books while there. :)

Suzanne said...

25,000 words is pretty awesome - and coming from England that's not a word we use much! I had also signed up but ended up in hospital in the first week and ended up writing zero :( I wish we had more conferences over here, there's very few and the costs are usually in the hundreds of pounds, but good you enjoyed yours :)
Suzanne @ Suzannes-Tribe

Yolanda Renee said...

Congratulations 25,000 words - wonderful!

I need to go to a conference, I want to surround myself with other writers and soak up the inspiration. And awesome you were on a panel, I would love to do that.

Checking out Preditors and Editors great site and I love keeping up.

Jai said...

The conference sounds like it was fun.

I want to go watch Fern Gully now.

cleemckenziebooks said...

That conference had to be wonderful. You certainly had a great experience and thanks for sharing some of what you learned.

Karen Walker said...

Yes, Cherie, the conference sounds like a wonderful experience. I am currently keeping a thought journal to catch my negative thoughts and switch them to positives, so I guess I'm pretty positive about everything these days.

M Pax said...

Cool to meet the preditors and editors dude. I didn't know they did that service either. Nice to know.

Glad your panel went well. There are a lot of folks who don't seem to understand the current state of publishing. Too many.

Staying positive is a full time job in itself. Onward and onward. Never give up. Never surrender. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The founder of Preditors and Editors - that is really cool.
Knew your panel would be great. It had you!

Emma Adams said...

Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing.

Christine Rains said...

It never hurts to be positive. :) Glad to hear you had a good time at the conference, and you learned a bunch of new things. I'm positive about preschool being a good thing for both my son and myself! Heh. ;)

Editors At Work said...

Sounds like you had fun and a great time. It's amazing meeting like minded people, isn't it?

Nas

Donna B. McNicol said...

Conference sounds great! Congrats on the 25k written...having done both Camp NaNo and NaNo, I know what a commitment that is. I did my own NaNo last month and managed 62k and finished my first draft. As you know, the editing can be even worse. I'm trying to stay positive...thanks for the post!

Cathy Keaton said...

Sounds like the conference was a great experience! I admire you for being brave and doing conference panels even though you end up overwhelmed by them.

Jan Newman said...

I'm more positive than ever about writing and publishing. I'm not positive I'll be published more, but I'm positive it's okay either way. Duh, it has to be, right? :)

Melissa said...

I'm glad to hear things are going so well for you. :)

I'm positive I don't have much to be positive about right now, but back-to-school might change that. At least I'll have some quiet time to write again. I hope...

August co-host and IWSG #110

Cher Green said...

I'm positively going insane, lol. Wonderful word count. I've so proud of you. One day I'll get it all together and get in massive word counts for the year. One day... Sounds like a great conference. Glad you had a good time.

Trisha F said...

Well done on all your Symposium stuff! :) And it sounds to me like your July experience is more than balanced out by the rest of the writing you've done this year so far.

Donna Hole said...

Whew, that's an insane schedule. I'm positive I'd freak out. But, I'm also positive that people write through all levels of activity. Cool that you can be so productively busy.

........dhole

Laura said...

Some words are better than no words at all, and 25000 is certainly something to be proud of. I try to be positive as much as I can, because it definitely makes a difference :)

Patricia Lynne said...

Each word written is one word less to "The End." << Very true words.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm sure people can learn a lot from you since you've been through the process. There are many people who don't know how to go about doing it on their own.

You're doing great in the writing front this year.

Emilyann Girdner said...

Cherie, your inspirational it's chilling. Thank you for the reminder. I also loved Fern Gully but had forgotten all about that line. You've left me motivated to stay positive and positive =)

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, man--that staying positive is SO important! Because you get tangled in beating yourself up and it gets IMPOSSIBLE to get back on track. And I am one of these WANT TO, but this publishing thing is SO intimidating!

Lexa Cain said...

25k in a month is excellent, and I'm so happy you're focusing on what you did accomplish rather than what you didn't. The conference sounds awesome and congrats on being on your first panel. I'm sure you ROCKED!! :-)

Kathy Wiechman said...

Glad your panel was a positive experience & happy to hear about your productive year so far. Onward!
Kathy @ Swagger Writers

Julia King said...

Oh, I love writers' conferences. I learn so much. It sure sounds like you did too and to be on the panel would be such an honor. Congrats for being asked.

I'm positive about self-publishing my book. I still feel like throwing up every now and again, but optimistic for sure.

jaybird said...

Good for you! I'm glad you enjoyed the panel and you had a positive time at the conference.

tfwalsh said...

Conferences are awesome... I just wish I could attend more. And being on your first panel... how cool.

Milo James Fowler said...

Life's too short to be negative, right? Sounds like you've got plenty to celebrate! Preditors & Editors is great; I always check out agencies on that site before I query them.

noonebutabloghead said...

I've tried the November 50,000 NaNoWriMo a couple of times, I think the official target is a little high.

25,000 words though, especially if it's to a standard you're pleased with, is a strong achievement. Hope you got a lot out of the conference!