Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Thanks To Those I Met This Morning

Some Wonderful and Very Smart Writers…

It was great to meet so many names that I knew from here or workshops, but had never put a face to. That was super fun. Thank you!

I had to be up this morning early (so no writing this morning) to be at the 20BooksTo50K Conference here in Las Vegas. I had 40 minutes to give a short course on Writing into the Dark, a topic that takes six weeks to go over in a regular workshop. (Just starting now in November, actually. Information below.)

I had fun with the forty minutes and no one shot at me from the audience, so I guess it went well. People said it did. And Kris talked for a half hour behind me about the value of short fiction.

Then we went off for a wonderful lunch with Mark from D2D and Damon from Bookfunnel. Great fun. Mark is coming back as an editor for the anthology workshop in March. He’s a fantastic editor and will be doing something special as well. (Still five spots in that workshop, sign-ups end on the 24th of this month because the writing starts on the 25th.)

The rest of the day was a blur of naps, exercise, and watching television.

Plus a Writing Thought…

I wanted to add in one more thought from The Voice. One singer who had an issue hearing the band and got off track at one point was saved by Jennifer Hudson to go to the live shows. Jennifer’s comment was simply, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.”

And at another point one of the judges and Mariah Carey were talking about one young girl and Mariah said it sounded too polished and perfect and she wished the girl would just let her natural voice out. The polished girl did not make it through.

Yup. I sure say that a lot, don’t I?

Polish and perfect is the death of art. And if you let your writing be YOUR WRITING, then you are really doing art.

So back to writing for me tomorrow morning.

Again, thanks to those I met at the conference for being so nice. Made it a fun few hours for me.



  • Vera

    It was wonderful that they live streamed it so I got to watch both of you. They were great. I would love to go to one of these conferences. They look great.

  • Philip

    The Jennifer Hudson comment reminds me of one of my favorite musicians lately, John Prine. Due to age and some serious medical problems, his voice has weakened and taken a different timbre over recent years. Some people think his new album is not as good as prior efforts, but I can’t stop listening to it. He’s one of the greatest songwriters and his words and melodies are poetry, not to mention his voice is unique and gives it character.

    There are also writers like that. I’m a fan of David Goodis, the semi-obscure noir crime writer of the 40s and 50s. He did a lot of rule breaking and was considered to be a pulp hack, but his voice was unique and pulls me deep into the story, which is all readers want.

  • Annie Reed

    Jennifer’s save brought tears to my eyes. The other thing she said, about being a professional, not letting the issue he had during his performance destroy him–how he got swept up in the music during the other singer’s performance–that resonated with me, too. One story or book that doesn’t work out right does not destroy a career, not if you’re a professional.

    • dwsmith

      Exactly! It was the music that mattered to him. I loved it and wish more writers understood that simple concept.