Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SIWC has come and gone but the hangover lives on

The Surrey International Writers' Conference is over for another year, always with a brutal abruptness that catches me off-guard. Though I am slumped over my laptop with that dull faux-hangover from lack of sleep and information overload (and the odd shot of 12-year-old Macallan single malt Scotch thank you Jack Whyte) I am energized and ready to tackle the work once again. I feel reborn and in a sense, I am.

I give my heartfelt thanks to my friend, the inimitable kc dyer, whose skills for organization are only surpassed by her keen eye for hot tights. Once again, the conference was a winner. Where else can you schmooze with top agents and writers of renown like Diana Gabaldon, Eric Walters, Robert Sawyer and C.C. Humphreys?

If you are a writer and you really want to learn something about the craft and the business of writing, and you want to do it in a nurturing environment surrounded by people aka other writers who really get you, then this is the one.

So I'm off to write and I leave you with a bit of advice.

If there's one thing that's said consistently at the SIWC, it is this:

Do The Work.

I'd amend that to say:

Do The Work FIRST.

If you don't, if you say to yourself well, I have to catch up on the laundry, and there are no groceries in the house, and the dog needs a bath and probably the kids do too, and then I'll get to my writing, well I've got news for you. You'll never get to your writing because all those things are always going to be there and they always need your attention.

So do the work FIRST. And teach your family to do their own laundry, accept that dogs smell, order in a pizza and let the kids skip the occasional bath (it's like making beds - they only get messed up again later.) You'll be better off for it. It doesn't make you a bad mother. It makes you a good role model for your children. Now stop reading this, and get to it! Who knows? Maybe your book will end up here:


Anonymous said...

Pam, it's great to see you're back, no worse for wear, sort of! I hope to hear more about the conference. Did you take any pictures? BTW, I really like your lamp.

Word Gardener said...

That's one inspiring pic. Brings a whole new meaning to "between you and me and the lamppost". Thanks.

Beth said...

"Do the work first."

Simple yet profoundly true. It changed my (writing) life when I finally put that into practice.

A Novel Woman said...

Jo, I didn't take many photos at all. I'm too busy! I will be posting some notes on the forum. Later. When I've slept.

Word gardener, that's my bedside table. Want to see what's beside the table?

Beth, I think we all put other stuff first. Look at me. Today I've spent more time toodling around the internet than working on my writing and it's so easy to let the day slide away. This is going to stop now. Now-ish. (g)

BB said...

Welcome back Pam... I am inspired.

"Do the (writing) work first." Yes Ma'am!

Of course my family might just kick me out if I start letting it all slide (any further than it already has!) Father, husband, 6-year-old and 3-year-old. It would be unanimous!!

I have great intentions of becoming the Aussie Jilly Cooper (by night, when the rest is taken care of) but am just too pooped to do it when the last one is tucked in.

So you're right. I have just talked myself in a circle!

A language post at my place - on swearing! Come on down and give your opinion!


A Novel Woman said...

Bush Babe, always a pleasure.

I took a workshop by one of my pals from the Compuserve Forum, one very inspirational Vicki Pettersson. I might blog about her later, actually, because there's too much to include here.

I think you are an awesome writer and I'd line up for your books.

Now, off to check out this swearing post of yours. Of course, I NEVER use bad language. I'm a model of decorum.

Laura Bradbury said...

Dear Pam,

So simple, so true, and yet needs to be reiterated SO many times for me to actually put it into practice. Merci from an often frustrated writer over here in France!

Sounds like you guys had a blast-o-rama. Looking forward to next year already!


A Novel Woman said...

Laura, I really hope you can make it next year. Every year I think it can't get any better, and every year, IT DOES!

I laughed until my sides hurt. I think I actually snorted bread through my nostrils at dinner one night. There's a seat at the table with your name on it, my dear.