Last week I was tagged in a post by the lovely Angela Addams. The post was about the five things I’ve learned this year. Wow, could we possibly expand that to maybe 100 things I’ve learned? It seems crazy to me that it’s already the middle of August when it feels like it’s still May or June.
So to my five things:
1. I’ve learned that being quiet and unobtrusive only makes me appear standoffish and arrogant. I really worried about the conference, thinking I wouldn’t be able to break through my defensive walls and talk to people. Boy, was I surprised! I became a social butterfly (who went to bed early every night). I discovered a new confidence in myself and it stuck with me even after my plane landed in New Orleans.
2. I’ve learned the harsh lesson of putting all your eggs in one basket. The agent SNAFU has taught me that no matter how concrete things may appear to be, you still have to protect yourself by not pinning all your hopes on one other person. Your writing career is valuable. People will want to read your stuff and though it’s a heady feeling to have someone say they love your work, you have to use common sense. Don’t burn bridges before you’ve made certain the bridge you’re about to cross is rock solid.
3. Sometimes you need a break. Writing is fun, it’s supposed to be fun, but when it starts to feel like a chore, you need to back away from it for a little while. No, you don’t need to shave your head and join a spiritual commune, but you do need to recharge your batteries. Get away from the computer. Leave Twitter, Facebook, and your writing groups alone for a little while. Leave your heroine hanging from a cliff. Go for a walk, go away for a short weekend, go shopping, or get your nails done. Do something to give your body and your brain a much needed break.
4. I’ve learned that coffee is my friend. As the year has steadily trudged on, I’ve become more and more dependent on it. Almost more so than chocolate. How do I know this? I drank sludge during the conference with a smile on my face. This was the kind of coffee that puts hair on your chest, but I braved it because I needed that caffeine. There was a time when I wouldn’t have dreamed of drinking coffee but once every few months. It wasn’t my thing. Now, I can’t live without it. I’m already planning to bring my own coffee to New York next year. I have to have my Community dark roast. No more sludge for me!
5. Finally, I’ve learned that there are friends to be made from every genre of writing. It’s been nearly a full year since I started taking my on-line presence more seriously and I’ve met some wonderful people. I’ve grown my network of friends, some of whom I had the honor of meeting in person, some I’m still on virtual terms with, but I couldn’t imagine continuing on this journey without them. You’re all the best!
Now it’s time for me to pass the buck. Are you ready? Three lucky people will get the chance to share their learning experiences with the rest of us. I’ve chosen: Lynn Rush, Daisy Harris, and Silvia Arada. What have you learned so far this year?