Today has been amazing and it’s only half over.
So the way that the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference works is there is a morning session with classes of 15 writers and a published author. We bring our first five pages of our manuscript, read them all, and get critiqued. Basically it’s a daily writing group with a published author leading the discussion. Amazing. Then in the afternoons we have two or three breakout sessions with authors (or illustrators) speaking on various topics.
So Alane Ferguson is the author in my morning session. She is the most amazing critiquer I have ever seen. Even if I skipped all the afternoon sessions, I’d feel like I was getting my money’s worth just by having her critique.
Today I was critiqued by her and the class and got the best suggestions. As scary as criticism might be, I really believe that my best writing only comes out when I have other people telling me how to fix it. I’m excited to finish the breakout sessions today so I can work on my rewrite. My new version will be critiqued again on Thursday.
Right now, I’m sitting in our first breakout session. Christopher Robbins from Gibbs Smith publishing. He’s talking about marketing, money, and sales stuff. And I had an epiphany…
I don’t care about the money.
Making a lot of money in this business means you’re selling lots of your books. Which means that people are reading your books. And that’s the key for me–people are reading it. Sure, if I could be the next Stephenie Meyer and be able to have a nice money bin to dive into (Ducktails reference anyone? ), I wouldn’t complain. But the reason why I would want to be a bestselling author is not because I want to be rich and famous. I just want this story that’s been rolling around in my head for years to be out there for other people to enjoy. Does that mean I want the fame?
Umm…answering my own question… Maybe? But really, I’m not sure I would really care if no on knew what I looked like. I just want my story to be loved, my characters to live through the reader.
So will I promote myself? You better believe it. Once I get published, that is.
Ah! I love writing conferences.