As I may have mentioned, I went to a writers conference yesterday. I’d never actually been to one before, so to start out by attending as a speaker instead of just a writer was, shall we say, interesting. Sitting in a small conference room for lunch with the invited agents and other speakers left me with the most acute case of The Impostor Syndrome I’ve had since the first time someone called me “Doctor” during the third year of medical school.
In addition to presenting my workshop, my other mission was to locate and meet Suzie Townsend, one of the remarkable agents at FinePrint Literary, as is my agent, Janet Reid. I’ve never met Janet face to face, and I’ve noticed that pictures of her do not exist. When an avatar or image is absolutely required, her aura appears as a shark. I believe that because Janet is a force of nature, relativistic fear causes photons to bend around her, thus making it impossible to render her image on film or digital media. Suzie, on the other hand, attracts those same photons like unicorns attract glitter, which partially explains why she is so lovely:
The other reason she is so lovely is because she is preternaturally sweet. As I cautiously approached her to introduce myself, not at all certain she’d have a clue as to who this strange lady in the dinosaur t-shirt might be, she squealed with delight the moment I said my name. She even posed for the above picture. (She’s the pretty one; on the left.)
So aside from the fact that Suzie is just as warm and wonderful in real life as Janet describes her on her blog, what did I learn at my first writers conference?
I learned that writing is a force of nature. Truly, the definition of a writer is someone who is compelled to write. Publication may be the stated goal, but is in many ways irrelevant. Cutting through all the workshop, keynote, and Q&A verbiage, the simple truth remains, central and unvarnished: writers write (and read). As awkward and out of place as I may have felt at the beginning, the fact is inescapable: I am a writer.
(Many thanks to HH for this remarkable opportunity.)