Is Teaching Writing Better Than Actual Writing?
A few days ago, I would have had a very quick and definite response to the question above: Writing is my happier and better place.
Truth be told, I was on a bit of a reclusive kick, and ... well ... you know how that goes. The less you socialize, the less you want to get out there and socialize.
Then, this weekend, I traveled to New York City for a three-day conference by Writers Digest. I was in good company. Other presenters included Harlan Coben, Jacqueline Mitchard and Dani Shapiro. The event also included panels and presentations by agents, editors, and lots of fellow writers.
We had about 600+ attendees, and the event was a nice mix of large-group keynotes, discussion panels and breakout sessions. Of course, we managed to get some socializing in there, too.
My two breakout sessions were on editing your work for publication (all genres) and how to write scenes for fiction (novels, short stories, micro fiction) and non-fiction (memoir, personal essay) pieces.
Today, after a long train journey and two high-energy sessions, I find myself back in Massachusetts and already missing the energy and buzz of the conference and mid-town Manhattan. It's not an exaggeration to say that I had wonderful participants who, though each room was large and full, managed to engage with the topic and with each other in a way I've rarely seen before.
We all know that writing is a solitary kind of gig. We all know--or should--that we writers spend a little too much time inside our own heads. So the opportunity to get out there to present and talk writing with other authors is always a thrill.
Thank you to all who participated. I enjoyed meeting every one of you, and especially enjoyed hearing your quick writing pieces from our (imaginary) beach scenes.
As a convenience for the participants, I have posted the session slides at Slideshare (see the links below). You will notice that each set of slides includes the sublinks (3 in all) to the short movie clips we viewed during the sessions.
I hope you enjoy.
And remember what Stephen King told us: Writing is about getting happy.
So whether you're out there discussing writing or hiding out in your writing room, be happy.
"A Smooth, Clean Finish: Editing Your Work for Publication" slides are here.
"Darling, You're Making a Scene" slides are here.
A list of my other workshop topics are at my website.