I feel like I’m in one of those isolation booths on a reality show. You know the ones. Where the contestants spill their inner most thoughts. Where they cry and sniffle. Where they preach about integrity while they back stab the other contestants, the whole time speaking in hushed tones.
Ok, leave out everything except the speaking in conspiratorial hushed voice. Come closer my children, I have a story to tell.
Ok, I applied for, as only a select few can go, and was accepted into the Algonkian Writers Conference in Niagara, October 27-30, 2011. I’m scared shitless and excited all at once. Here it where reality slaps me in the face. Here is where those in the know tell me whether I’m a writer or a poser.
There is a notion that one’s family, friends, writing cronies and fellow writing groups are all giving bad advice. They are in essence, inflating our balloons with breaths of hope. I don’t necessarily agree with that, but the fact of the matter is, I’ve only ever received good feedback. Try as they may to hide it, all writers want an honest opinion. They won’t say aloud that they want at least one well thought out negative feedback, but they do. I do.
So I’m approaching this with a handful of balloons. Each one buoyed by feedback; each one a flimsy building block upon which the mansion of my writing career balances. The struggle will be, how many can I afford to lose before the house comes crashing down.
I’ll sit, knees knocking, mouth bleeding sand, while editors from some noted publishing houses as Penguin and Random House, inspect me, through my writing, to see whether I am worthy.
Three and a half days of learning how to sell myself and my books(s). Three and a half days to figure out where to stand my ground so my voice and vision aren’t overwhelmed by suggested edits to make my writing “market worthy”.
I’m sounding kinda literary aren’t I? I think I’m headed down that slippery literary writing slope. The interesting thing about this whole course will be in finding out where Literary writing fits in. The assigned reading was several classic and current literary novels. The interesting part is that literary novels are supposed to be the hardest to sell.
Great, now I have another thing eating at me, curiosity.
Nothing to do now but pack my balloons and hop into my carriage pulled in one direction by two horses, Excitement and Curiosity and in the opposite direction by a horse named Fear.
There is one saving grace, fellow Write Brains, writing group member and a former teacher instrumental in getting me this far, are going as well.
Did I mention this conference is reported to have a one in three success ratio? Gulp!