Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Convict at the Conference

I've done a lot of research on the publishing process. I've bought books, done internet searches and made Google my personal friend. I've frequented writer's websites, asked questions and annoyed anyone and everyone to get the information I needed. I became a pest. I wrote down questions whenever I thought of them; in the middle of the night, while driving and even during church (sorry pastor). So when I went to the PNWA conference it was only natural that I went to a session on proposal writing. And that's when my whole black and white, follow-the-rules world tilted. Amanda Ford (and her mother) led the session.

As they began to talk, I started to get angry. Yes, angry. What they were saying went against all conventional wisdom. What they recommended went against all of the research I'd done. Didn't they know they were wrong? I mean, who in the world paid these people to be at a professional conference like this? But then-

As my pea-brain tilted off kilter, I took a deep breath and asked myself a question. "What can you (Karen) learn from these two slightly offbeat women?" When I gave myself permission to learn from them, something incredible happened; I did.

Amanda is a twenty-something, funny, energetic and talented young woman. She clearly has convictions and stands, no... jumps up and down... by them. She is a convict without the black and white jumper! And as I listened to her, I decided that I want to be a convict too. I want to make a plan for my manuscript, my book, my proposal, my query...and stand by it. I want to do it because it feels right, not just because it's what everyone else is doing. I want to create a manuscript that stands out, not in a crazy or unprofessional way, but in a "She's really thought this out" way. Thanks Amanda!

Next time: The title page

-Karen

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