I can't say I ever saw myself going to a convention that didn't involve trying to figure out ways to blow things up more effectively. Some could say that, given Larry Correia's seminar on writing action, that's exactly what I went to LTUE for, but I prefer to think of it as an enriching experience for me as an author.
For those of you unfamiliar with the conference, Life, the Universe, and Everything is a writers' conference for speculative fiction authors (sci fi and fantasy). It's held every year at BYU/UVU in Orem, Utah, and brings together experienced and budding authors to give panels and lectures about the craft, journey, and business of writing. I've read books on writing, I've listened to podcasts on writing, I've even meditated for long hours in the woods about writing, but I've never been to a conference where I could MEET people who WROTE.
In short, it was pretty fantastic. Thanks to my good friend Jen Lerud, I was able to be a horrible mooch for a few days and not have to pay for lodging while getting to hang out with her wonderful family. I'll probably be posting lessons learned from the conference as I begin to digest them, but right now I'm just still on a high from being around so much writing in such a short, concentrated period of time.
I was able to shake hands and talk briefly with all the members of the Writing Excuses podcast, a fantastic resource for anyone looking to start writing. I exchanged business cards with people that I never even thought I'd have a chance to talk to (NYT Bestselling authors), had lunch with two pioneers of fiction, pitched books to editors for practice, and learned a LOT about the business of writing.
Above all that I took away from this conference, the one thing that really is whispering somewhere in my mind is this ridiculous, absurd thought:
I can do this.
The idea of "making it" as a writer is no longer a pipe dream. I have had nine stories published in the same place as people who were leading those panels and giving those lectures in only one year of writing. In that same year, I have finished the first draft of three novels, and I have at least six more itching at the tips of my fingers.
So, maybe it's crazy, maybe it's even a bit vain, but I think I can do this. I want to write stories that change and inspire people, to weave tales that will help someone get through a tough time because they can relate with my characters, because the story I wrote planted a seed inside them that gave them the tiny push they needed.
I think I can do this. I want to do this. And I want you to come with me. Pass my blog along, join me on Facebook, leave comments. Tell me what you think of what I do.
Come on and be part of this with me. This is gonna be fun.