The right words at the right time

inspiration imageThere are many reasons to go to SCBWI conferences and retreats and classes. There is the sense of community you get from interacting with other writers. There is recognition–which is something you cannot work without. There is wine. And chocolate. And laughs.

And there is inspiration. The conversation. More than anything else I do as a writer, the conversation always gives me what I need to know.

This weekend, I got a healthy dose of all of this. I got the right advice at the right time.

This weekend, I had this feeling twice. The first, was in Franny Billingsley’s lecture. The second, was with my first advisor from VCFA, Kathi Appelt.

When I sat down (front row, center, still the good student), she looked at me and asked, “What are you doing here? You’ve heard this before.”

She was right. I had. Defiantly, I smiled. “So?”

Anyone who has heard Kathi knows that I had no need to worry I wouldn’t hear something new. I’ve learned a lot from Kathi lectures on character. It’s why I wanted to work with her. I knew there was magic in her words. I knew I needed to hear this lecture. It didn’t matter that I often teach these ideas to others. I needed to hear her say it to finally be able to apply it in my novel–the one I’m working on now.

No surprise, as she lectured, I felt like she was thinking about my novel. The pieces of the story that had felt slightly askew began to make sense. When I got home, I organized my notes. I wrote a new beginning that addresses the hole in her heart and fills the hole that was my opening.

(Thanks, Kathi!)

Have a great writing day! Invite inspiration. If you haven’t been to a class or conference in a while, open up some old notes. You might find that the right advice is right there, waiting to be taken.

1 Response
  1. Love this! I know that feeling of both humility (I need to learn so much more) and generosity (I can teach you what I do know). It’s time for me to go to another conference!

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