Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why I'm Not at WriteOnCon

Yesterday in the comments, Deb Salisbury suggested I spend some time over at WriteOnCon.  Personally I think WriteOnCon is a great idea.  From their own site, it's 'a free, interactive experience, designed to give writers many of the features of a writer’s conference, but in an online environment'.  It sounds perfect for writers who - like me - find attending a conference beyond them at the moment.  Hell, the expense of traveling to whichever conference excites you is prohibitive enough and then you throw in the cost of the event itself.  Ack.  Even the thought of attending the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers conference in September is too much - and it's only a few hours away.

Having said that, though, I'm probably not going to be attending WriteOnCon.  At first I told myself my absence was because I'm not a YA writer, but that's a lame excuse.  A lot of writing advice covers multiple genres - even if some of it is tailored for a certain segment of publishing.  No, if I'm honest with myself, the reason I'm not attending is the same reason I avoid long protracted posts filled with wonderful writing advice...

Okay, this is going to sound stupid.  I know it's stupid and I'm the one writing it.  But, the reason is simply that any time I read writing advice, and I'm not doing things exactly the same way, I begin to doubt myself.  So I warp my writing to match the advice.  Even if it's good advice, it ends up hurting my writing.  It's almost like I subconsciously apply that advice to everything I'm writing until my own voice is buried.

It's like this quirk I have where if I spend any amount of time around someone with an accent, I pick up that accent.  My father was the same way.  People get very angry when they think you're mimicking them, but seriously, we can't help it.  Hell, I don't even know I'm doing it until someone says something.  :shrug:  Maybe we're just a suggestible people.  B.E. the human chameleon?

This is the same reason that the first few years of my writing career, I couldn't read other people's books while I was working on my own stuff.  I'd read and then my writing would begin to sound like whoever I was reading.  I got over that.  Someday maybe I can get over this, too.  Right now, though, I really don't want anything to interfere with this WIP.

So, I'm not attending WriteOnCon.  Since I assume most of the rest of the world is normal and doesn't pull a chameleon around other people's ideas, I'd recommend the rest of you go and check out the wonderful things they're doing over at the conference.  Once I'm done writing this book, I'll probably go back and read through everything I missed - because missing out on good advice entirely is just stupid.  

Have you been to WriteOnCon?  What about other conferences?  How have they worked out for you?


  1. Okay, I could have written this post. The stuff about how you morph to match other people, in writing, in life, in accents?
    I totally do that! I think it's good, because it makes you adaptable, but it's bad, because then you always questions yourself and wonder whose ideas are whose.

    Seriously! We're like twins in this department!!!!

  2. I can understand not wanting to mess up the flow etc... but WriteOnCon has a lot of stuff that isn't about the craft of writing =) Like, query critiques and stuff like that. Definitely check it out. I'm really loving the agent/editor panels. They're going through myths and kicking them in the rear =D

    And to answer your question, yes I'm attending (duh, since I just talked about it lol). I also went to RWA Nationals last year. LOVED IT. So worth the money. I am going to NYC next year no matter what =D

  3. You, me and Lydia! Yes - I kept nodding my head at everything you said in your post, B.E. EVERYTHING!

    And the accent thing - I have to force myself not to pick up the accent because people do think you're an idiot!!