I’m attending an online writing conference that is quite possibly the best conference I’ve ever attended. It’s called Inkers’ Con, and it has been worth every penny I spent for it. There’s still a week of Zoom events left, but I already know that I’m attending again next year, whether it’s the live in-person event or the convenient Zoom one. I’m worth the investment.
Through this event, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to and chat with several bestselling authors in various genres. Each one has taught me something new. In addition to the live Zoom meetings, we have access to 27 full sessions led by authors and other industry experts, which were recorded during the live Inkers’ Con a few weeks ago. Plus, we have six years to access all of the amazing knowledge.
Bestselling SciFi Author Orlando Sanchez said something during his Q & A session last Sunday that resonated with me in a big way. He said, “If you’re an author, own it.”
I can’t tell you how many times people have told me I’m not a real author because I don’t make a lot of money and still have a day job. The fact that my name may never appear on a bestseller list doesn’t diminish the fact I write nearly every day.
I write short stories, poetry, essays, and this blog in addition to books for my own pleasure. Of course, publication is the goal for everything I write, but what I write is for me. The absolute euphoria I experience when one of my pieces is published keeps me going through any not so pleasant conversations with the haters who are probably just trying to make themselves feel better by raining on my prose parade.
You may not find my work in your local bookstore (unless you’re in the Joplin area and shop at Always Buying Books, my favorite place to buy books), but I am a real author. I spend tons of time, energy, and money investing in my writing career. It’s expensive to continue my education, network, purchase supplies, and travel to various writing-related events. I do it because I love it, and I take pride in my work.
I’d add to the above that I’m proud of the work I do at my day job, too. I help low-income people live a bit better by playing a role in the facilitation of energy-efficient retrograde installations. It’s important work, and I’m honored to a part of it.
My favorite part of Inkers’ Con so far was called “Cozy Mystery Meetup” and was hosted by Cozy Mystery Author Lisa Bouchard. She started out with an ice breaker where she asked each of us two questions. After we’d learned a little about each other, she asked for craft questions.
I was the first to chime in and let everyone know that I have recently fallen in love with the cozy mystery genre and pivoted my career to become one of that amazing ilk. Since I’m new to the genre and am still working on my first cozy mystery novel, I asked what beats I should be hitting. Those are points in the novel where certain things are supposed to happen. I was also curious if there were any novice pitfalls I should avoid.
Lisa offered great answers and recommended a couple of books. She took her time, giving me thorough explanations. Then, I was shocked when several other authors offered their wisdom. I knew right then I’d joined the perfect Zoom meeting for me. We had an entire hour of sharing experiences, education, recommendations, and good old-fashioned comradery. Our time together ended far too soon.
I’m happy to say that most of the live events taking place during this online conference are being recorded so I can watch them later. I’ve missed several due to my hectic schedule after work. This week is full of running around and taking care of various things for a few of my loved ones, so it’s difficult for me to tune in at the appointed times. I am certainly looking forward to playing most of those recordings.
Very few authors get rich or become household names. That’s not what it’s about for me, anyway. I’m an author because creating something beautiful with words is in my soul. Writing is my passion. However, if my work ever does take off into the stratosphere, I’ll be tickled pink and shouting it for everyone to hear.
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