Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I spent the day with crazy people...

...and it was marvelous! Calvin and I attended the Sedalia Writers' Conference at a picturesque retreat center nestled in the hushed embrace of mountains in Sedalia, Virginia. There we met fellow writers--fiction and nonfiction--who were every bit as crazy about writing as we. What a delight they were! And how refreshing to be around people who look at the world with their souls, who delight in their chosen genre, who at times both hate and love the writing process and who continually strive to improve their craft. We shared stories about characters who speak to us, storylines that wake us from a sound sleep and the seemingly never-ending process of writing and rewriting. We shared angst over composing query letters and synopsis (or would that be synopses since it's pleural?). We shared battle stories about finding the right agent and a publisher. And we shared the spirit of the stories that sleep in our souls, waiting for a chance to leap forth like that first spring crocus.

What sweetly touched me was the humility shared by each of the writers. We are a strange lot, blessed with talent and yet so uneasy tooting our own horn. Just as we were uniform in our writing experiences--the good, the bad and the obsessive--we were uniform in our hesitancy in promoting ourselves. We are writers, not salesmen and advertizers. Our souls live to create, we soar with the heady process, we become lost in it. We do not delight in the realities of commerce or the promoting of oneself.

Still, we came away from the Conference having greatly discussed the 6-P's:
  • Plot--well developed with believable charcters in well-researched environs.
  • Psychological Authenticity--how would our characteres react in a given situation?
  • Produce--write, write and, when facing that infernal writer's block, write one word after another.
  • Proofing--a writer can't do it because one is not able to spot all of one's mistakes. Have a critique group or professional proofread it for you.
  • Publish--don't allow rejections to deter you. As Darryl Laurent said, "Consider grocery shopping. When you walk past a large display of bread and you chose one loaf, you haven't rejected the rest. You could only choose one, and it's the one you're holding." In short, don't take rejection personally.
  • Promote--begin by blogging, develop a fan base on FaceBook, use uTube and any new technologies that come your way.


Karl Lamb said...

Hi, Vonnie,I just returned from the Maryland Writers Assn. Conference. I wanted to understand the nature of Women's Fiction as a genre. One answer: Literary Fiction does not have such a sub-genre, but commercial fiction has it in spades. Sub-genres like chick lit dominate the market.

Betsy Ashton said...

I resemble being called a crazy person. I too was at the Sedalia Writer Conference and loved meeting you, Calvin and the rest of the rabid writers. It was one of the most stimulating conferences I ever attended. Will catch up with you soon, I hope.

Amy Ruth Allen said...

Vonnie: It was a great time, wasn't it! I'm glad you came away with something useful about promoting your work. I look forward to seeing you at next year's conference, if not before!
Amy Allen

Sally Roseveare said...

Vonnie, I learned from and loved the Sedalia Writers Conference! Everyone there was fun, and had good information to share. It was great meeting you; hope to see you again.