Meet the Beachside Writers Conference mascot. Not just any old seagull -- a typing seagull. We really need to upgrade him to a computer! This past weekend I attended my first-ever writers conference. And it was the Beachside conference I had wanted to attend for more than a couple of years. Held in Yachats, Oregon each year, Bob Welch started the conference in 2005.
I have come away from this conference so energized not only by the presenters but the acceptance and affirmation received from other writers, both experienced and beginning (52 in all). The diversity in backgrounds and the wide range of ages (19-80+) only added to the beauty and integrity of the weekend.
There is so much to share and tell that I'll probably stretch this into more than this post. But today I just want to share a few nuggets, I brought home with me:
- "Saying what needs to be said." (conference theme)
- "If you are going to be a writer there is nothing I can say to stop you; if you're not going to be a writer nothing I can say will help you. What you really need at the beginning is somebody to let you know that the effort is real." ~ James Buchanan (quoted by Jane Kirkpatrick, writer and presenter)
- "Beware the IKEA affect -- just because you put loving labor into your work doesn't mean it will be loved by others." ~ Jane Kirkpatrick
- Overview of POD and the possibilities available (by Roger Hite, Ph.D. in philosophy, writer and presenter)
- Humor interspersed throughout his presentations by Bob Welch (an example follows):
"I don't believe in writer's block anymore than I believe in 'plumber's block' should the guy fixing my pipes suddenly find the going difficult. 'Sorry, pal,' he might say as he gathers up his tools -- and, of course, hitches up his, ahem, jeans. 'Just not feeling it today.'"
"I don't believe in writer's block anymore than I believe in 'surgeon's block' should the doctor doing my hernia operation find herself stymied. 'Hey, Bob, hang in there. I'm going to flex out the rest of the day. Maybe catch a matinee to see if I can get back in the groove, you know?'"
The sessions were educational, informative, enriching and intense at times. Several writing exercises were sprinkled throughout. At the end of the day on Sunday, I felt a mix of emotions: I had missed my husband and home, but I was reluctant to leave my new friends and so much camaraderie so soon.
Today, Monday, I haven't been able to come down off the high that I found myself battling at 1:37 am as I tried to find the missing sleep I needed and wanted.
As I sort out my notes, my writing samples, AND my third place metaphor/simile contest entry, I'll post more. I have so much I want to share with you!