Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Once upon a time, I attended a conference for writers. At said conference, I made new friends, found fresh voices, reconnected with friends from years past, bought some books and heard some speakers.

One particular speaker stood out, but not for her great speaking ability; for her craziness. As a result of this craziness, witnessed by myself and my new friend Heather, it's become something of an inside joke.

Fast forward to this month, when there is another conference for writers but this time, I'm on the speaking agenda.

And I got a little nervous.

But, as Heather reminded me, I couldn't do worse than the crazy speaker we had both witnessed. And to further bolster my confidence, my friend gave me what I think is the best pep-talk ever.
My awesome reminder from my new friend.

She reminded me that I've got something to say, something that people need to hear, and I've got a viewpoint.

And that's what I told these writers at this conference; they too have something to say. They've got a viewpoint and I want to help them to get their words out and make them the best, most effective words they can be.

I opened my talk with a joke (as is my way), and told the attendees about the absolute worst writer I'd ever worked with ... and that she was in the very room. I told a tale of a writer with an ego so fragile, she could not take criticism; was known to be found yelling at page edits given to her by readers and editors; she would bristle and get angry and irrational.
Providing some insight at the Buzz Writers'
Conference 2012.

Several of the writers in the room had a sheepish look on their face when I described this diva, but they needn't have worried.

I was describing myself. It's difficult to be on the receiving end of criticism, no matter how soft-handed or constructive it may be. I am not good at being told that I'm ... well ... not good.

So I know what it's like, this editing process, from both sides of the process. And I wanted these readers to know that I knew that. And you know what?

The bar may have been low, but I think I cleared it. Sometimes we all (as writers, editors and just people) need to be reminded that what we are doing matters, trying hard matters and that it's okay to ask others for help or guidance or the right word choice when it seems like you just can't find it with both hands.

So ask for help when you need it and put that pen to paper (or pencil or keyboard or chalk or whatever) and write.


  1. Chalk. I should get chalk. Heather's right. People want to hear from you!

  2. You completly cleared the bar. The oracle only wishes she were you. Of course, she's not aware that she is who she is... but you get it, right? Great post! You're on F I R E this week!