This past weekend, I had the great pleasure of attending the annual Ontario Writers' Conference in Ajax, Ontario. I have gone to this conference many times before. In fact, I think I've only missed one or maybe two since it first began in 2007. Normally, I join the herd of shaky-kneed writers with my notebook and hot pink folder (the red ones are ALWAYS gone by the time I get there), trying to blend in to the wallpaper. I even go under my pen name because using my real name is somehow too expository. That's how much of a chicken I am. But this year, I went as me. Ellie the Editor. And you know...
A fun thing to do at this conference (and others like it) is to sign up for a blue pencil or pitch session. These things are not scary at all. You simply pay your extra money for ten uninterrupted minutes of an industry professional's time, go into a small, silent, barren room in which your chosen mentor awaits you at the far side of a white-sheeted table, and then bumble your way through your pitch without blowing it (or blowing chunks as the case may be). Then, best of all, you get to hear the industry professional point out all your work's flaws, all the while knowing that your future as a professional writer hangs in the balance. See? It's easy...
I have done both a blue pencil and a pitch session from the writers' side of the table. I know how gut liquifyingly nerve wracking these things can be from over there. So imagine my great surprise when this year after being invited to act as an industry professional and receive the pitches, I found myself equally as nervous to meet you, the writers. What an evil twist of fate that was.
Thank you to all the authors who have trusted me with their work. Thank you for doing what you do. Thank you for being hard headed enough to get up after you've been knocked down. Thank you for being nervous to meet me (and thereby making me seem less weird). It takes a lot of courage to bare your soul, and I know that is precisely what you're doing when you share your writing. If you ever feel defeated by your chosen path, remember that we are all in this together. That's some damn good company if you ask me.
All right, enough sap. Get bloody writing already. And make it good.
A post on synopsis writing is coming very soon. I promise.