I returned to the old Tar Heel state yesterday from a weekend spent pitching, querying, and chatting it up with writers, agents, and other amazing people from all over the place.
It was overwhelming.
There is so much I learned this weekend that I can't possibly disseminate it all into one post, so consider this just the first of what will be many installments in the coming week.
Writing for love.
I had the opportunity to hear authors Joshilyn Jackson and D. Anne Love speak on Saturday, and they both spent a lot of time discussing the passion to write. Dan Poynter presented to the conference goers as well, and he spoke of the compulsion to write. All three authors touched on the same idea in different ways:
Writers write because they have to. We write because we love it. We do not write because it is easy or fast or painless, but often we write because it is not easy or fast or painless.
It was so good to hear that others have my compulsion, my driving need. It was also lovely to hear the reminder that writing what you love will be fulfilling. It can be so tempting to wander off into genres or storylines that aren't in your heart, simply because you think they just might sell better (or at all) than the current love child you are creating.
Yes, I am guilty of these impure thoughts too. Even at the conference, where I was being reminded again and again to write from my heart, I found myself entertaining ideas of a genre I've never considered (Paranormal YA) just to make my time with a particular agent more in line with the works she represents.
It's a constant struggle against a harsh world, but if we are to be authors, not simply writers, we must stay close to our heart. Someone will read our words and feel an answering echo in their own heart.