What a Writers’ Weekend!

Beachside mascotMeet 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!

13 thoughts on “What a Writers’ Weekend!

  1. Sherrey – I’m excited for you! I always come away from conferences/workshops so full of information that it takes me days to process it all. Looking forward to hearing more of what you learned. I think the conference size was really nice – not too big, but not too small. It made it possible to get to know others on a more personal basis.

    1. Joan, I am so energized right now that I’m having a hard time settling down to the ordinary routine. Let’s just say that my ordinary may have changed!

  2. That sounded so great! Glad you were inspired! Also enjoyed the writers block/plumbers block analogy …I look forward to more. Thank you.

  3. This is wonderful, Sherrey, so glad you went. It will really jump start your writing even more. I’m going to consider joining you if you go to this conference next year.

    1. Madeline, this was the 16th annual conference, and the dates are established for next year. I believe Feb. 28-March 2, 2014. It would be grand to have you join me there.

  4. Loved this!! Those writer’s block stories were so funny – especially the surgeon. I can see why you’re inspired now. I think events like this are priceless in terms of what you take away. Can’t wait for more nuggets of wisdom.

    1. I just told my husband today I couldn’t really put a price on the value of this past weekend. He smiled and agreed! I guess that means I can sign up for next year! Woohoo!

  5. Sounds like an amazing opportunity!! Im so thankful that you had the chance to go and glean so many great things! I look forward to hearing… well reading them all! =)

    1. Amanda Sue, glad you stopped by. I too am thankful that it was possible for me to attend. I came away feeling as if I had been filled to the brim with writing goodness. 🙂

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