Monday, April 28, 2014

A Neophyte's Perception of a Writers Conference

Photo Credit: Nathan Williams

This whole account may be a little premature as I'm still living in a post-conference blender of emotions.

From Thursday to Sunday I attended the Pikes Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs, CO. It's now Monday. This means that my head is still spinning and the pendulum still swings back and forth between, 'I suck', and 'there might just be hope for me.'

A dreamer, the mere fact – which I was keenly aware of before conference – that people have written and published books, is all it takes for me to want to do the same. Nothing is going to keep me from realizing it, although I do believe that the method of extracting my story may have to come from something other than the usual way – brain summoning muscles to cause fingers to dance across the keys. It may also take more pain.

Despite being the epitomy of a newbie- necessary and a nuisance,  I have come out of the conference with my head firmly set on my shoulders, and ready to rock it.

PPWC is the self-professed 'friendliest conference' out there. It was a relief that everyone having to do with it, volunteers, speakers, and presenters, were only one baby kiss away from being saints because this was still attended by a sub-set of the population at large. You can't quite keep all the jerks out of everything. And like every necessary part of life, you show up, you participate, you do your thing, and ignore the people who have no investment in you coming out of it whole.

I'm sure that many of us went into the conference ready to take a beating, you can only be stripped down to be built back up again, a better person for it. With more skills in the back pocket for easy access, my soul has told me that I am indeed a step closer to something greater.

Really, the only rough spot I had in Colorado Springs, was with a handful of attendees and the rare expert. While most were supportive and wonderful human beings, there were some that had no patience for beginner writers. It made me feel sub-standard. It made me feel like an intruder.

Thank GOD for the keynote speakers. They rescued me. Their words cut straight to my ravaged writer's heart. I was laughing, I was crying. They made me feel like I could attain my own success, in my own way. They were so passionately into their words. Wait a second...they are authors.

So if you are considering attending a writer's conference for the first time, I would hope you consider going to this one next year. Despite my social anxiety and low tolerance for narcissistic ppl, I would easily go back to Colorado Springs, even still droopy eyed with notebook in hand – after I finish another chapter, that is.

Every one of the keynote speakers hit a home run. They all received a standing ovation. The event volunteers and organizers I met made me feel welcome. The master of ceremonies, Aaron Michael Ritchey was superbly entertaining. Hats off to the director, MK Meredith, the programming director, MB Partlow, and the faculty co-ordinator, Jason P Henry who made fantastic choices in content with top notch execution.

2014 PPWC Faculty

I can't wait until next year.

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