It’s been a long month since I went to Pennsylvania and attended the SCBWI PA Poconos Retreat. A long month in which to sit and think about all that I learned there. I have images to put online, thoughts to write down, but each time I’ve gone to do it, I’ve been dissatisfied with my website and my online presence. It’s funny how the look and feel of my blog can totally put me off from posting here. It wasn’t as if there was anything particularly wrong with it, but it wasn’t what I wanted. This is what happens when you live your previous life as a web designer and coder for ten years before you pick up writing again. You’ll see it’s changed and I’m happy with it for now. I have ideas for expansion, but this is going to work in the meantime.
Laurie Halse Anderson, one of the main presenters at the conference I attended, said to “Give yourself gifts…” The gift of time, the gift of physical space, the gift of art, the gift of craft, and to give yourself permission to achieve all you want. For the past month, I’ve been giving myself the gift of time. I’ve been taking advantage of my babysitter and going out to write three times per week. I’m working on Book 3 in my series and revisions on Book 2 while Book 1 makes the rounds at publishers. Giving myself this gift of time is keeping me from worrying about Book 1 and the anonymous people that are reading it.
Yes, there’s nothing worse than a writer on submissions. We’re cranky, anxious, and a crazy roller coaster of emotions (one day, I’m think I’m totally going to get published, the next day, I think I’m failing, but this is typical I think).
So besides the gift of time, of physical space (my table at Panera is the best I can do right now), I’m also giving myself the gift of art in knitting. It’s so important to have a creative activity outside of writing. Some people paint or draw, I knit. Choosing the right yarn and colors for a project and then using my hands to make an object are creative use of my brain other than crafting characters! So while I’m contemplating a scene in my novel or watching the kids play, I wrap yarn around needles and produce something I can wear when it’s chilly in my writing space.
As for that amazing conference, I’m still processing it. It blew me away, the people I met, the things I learned. I think I’ll upload the images to Flickr or Facebook soon and look at them and smile. I hope I get to see all of those people again soon.