Saturday, June 13, 2009

BYU Writer's Conference

I just finished four and 1/2 day conference at BYU. It has to be one of the most productive experiences a writer's aiming for the children's market can have (other than the actual writing part.) I got to hang out with other amazing and talented writers whom I really like and, frankly, intimidate me a little.

Or maybe more like A LOT! One of the things the conference reminded me is that getting published is really a ton of work. I've edited my first children's book, Sonya Silent, 14 times, and after the conference, and after Ann Cannon (my workshop teacher)gave us some editing ideas, I think I'll have to make it an even fifteen before I send it out.

The happy news is that I think I'm finally ready to start submitting. Where to submit a middle-grade with domestic abuse topics is a little more tricky.

My second book, the one I workshopped, is a lot lighter, much more fun, but will probably need another 14 edits before it's ready (I hope not that long--I learned so much from the first one,but it still needs a lot of work.

So why am I spending so much of my life trying to write in a market where so few get published and even then only a portion of them write books that make a profit? If I had know that when I started, would I have done it? Maybe not--when I started, I thought getting published would be easy. I told Barry this feels like getting a job where they tell you you'll have to work for free for years, and maybe, if you do really well, in a few years you might get paid, and then again, you might not.

Then again though, maybe I would have done it anyway. It's in my blood like some kind of fix, but at least not illegal. It gives me a chance to be me. It gives me a chance to do something besides clean my house and take care of kids, although the kid part is infinitely more important.

This week was so nice -- going to lunch with writer friends, (thanks, Amy Z, Amy F, and Allison) having adult conversation with people who understand this crazy writing world and are as hooked on it as I am.

I just realized. I do have another job where I work for free--being a mom. And that one, although not too easy, is pretty worthwhile.

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