Thursday, July 19, 2007

Post-conference Letdown

Well, I think I've had a bout of the post-conference blues. We all come home tired, emotionally drained, and (for me) socially drained. :) But still, conference is such a high that it's hard to come back to Earth. Back to dirty dishes and dirty clothes. Back to meals that have to be cooked and kids that have doctor appointments.

I also have contest entries that need judging. But I've been on a roll with my new story and have put them off. I'd love to share what happened to me on the way home from conference.

My story (the one I started over a couple of months ago, ditching 100 pages) was, once again, going nowhere. The opening pages were fun and I really enjoyed writing them. But then I got stuck. I just couldn't see what was going to happen or how it could end. I had revamped the characters, and they still weren't working. While at National, Lindi and I talked about the book several times, and I just couldn't get excited about it or figure out where I went wrong.

As my flight took off, I put on my headphones and listened to a Christian satellite radio station. David Crowder came on (can't remember which song), and moved me to prayer. I started praying, asking God--begging, really--to help me with my story, to show me what characters I needed and what plot choices I needed to make. I was nearly in tears as I finished the prayer. So I sat and listened to the words of the song while admiring the gorgeous clouds as we were rising above them. (I always feel like I'm peeking at heaven while flying.)

Then ideas started flowing. I took out my chart from Michael Hauge's workshop.

Michael Hauge teaching at RWA.

And I started writing about my characters' identity and essence. From there, I used his table and wrote the major turning points. I was still scribbling like mad when the plane landed, and I had to stop because I couldn't write while bouncing around! I had written for nearly 2 solid hours. And I knew I had my book. Thank you, God!

I've been writing like crazy since I got home. I think I've gotten about 20 pages down. Today was a little rougher. I knew I had written a terrible chapter hook, but I left it and moved on. I also knew I had written some terrible dialogue, but at least I have something to work with. I also have the bare bones ideas for a series of books based around a town! I'm so excited!!

So even though I'm feeling a little of the post-conference blues, I have a lot to be thankful for. And I look forward to the next conference I'll be able to attend to be refreshed and inspired.



  1. Awesome story, Missy. You keep working---before you know it you'll hvae a rough draft and then, it's the fun part!

  2. Thanks, Lindi! And thanks to whoever posted my draft for me. :)


  3. I know what you mean, Missy. I'm so thankful we have conferences to rejuvenate us and get those creative juices flowing again. I wrote 25 pages in two days. That's more than I've written in a month! I finally gave myself permission to write rubish. And Michael's workshop help a lot too.

    Looks like we're all off and running.

  4. I'm inspired by your stories of writing so many pages. I came home to crazy business demands. But, in the airport and on the plane, I scribbled plot issues like crazy. I went over critiques and determined if I agreed, disagreed, or needed to learn something. Then I began to revise my first book. I really felt good about what I accomplished on the return. Now I have to reorder my schedule to fit it around writing instead of fitting writing into it.

  5. That's awesome Missy!

    I am definitely inspired too!

    And I want you to teach me what you learned from Michael Hauge! that goes for you other ladies too!

    Email lessons work fine! (Just kidding)
    Keep writing, ladies! Keep writing!

  6. I'm so glad to hear others are writing like crazy, too!

    Christy, you ought to see if it's possible to buy the conference handouts. It's a huge book they give that has every workshop handout. It's an amazing resource.

    YOu could also buy the tape just of his workshop. But in the handouts, he has a great chart and checklist.