UWWI Thoughts and Impressions 2013

(My next blog post will start toward the new direction I’m taking this blog–A Neo Renaissance focus for us specialized, compartmentalized, 21st-century¬†Americans.) Keep those suggestions rolling in! ūüėȬ† *haven’t had a single one yet*

For the third consecutive year I attended the University of Wisconsin-MadisonWriters’ Institute. It’s a weekend full of writers, agents, instructors, workshops, networking, success stories, commiseration with fellow writers about our writing failures, and celebration of our minor–or¬† major–writing victories.

I’m pleased to have gotten to know two authors who’ve published books in the past year. One went traditional and produced a print book with a traditional publisher. The other self-published her manuscript as an e-book. Both told me of the hard work, research, and emotional roller coaster of getting a book from an idea to a finished project. Writing is damn hard, but the selling and promoting may be the harder part.

Sometimes a meeting of like-minded people, such as 250-300 writers, gives a struggling writer more hope than help. more inspiration than information,  more emotional benefit than educational benefit. Just being around other writers energized me, as well as the stimulation of getting out of my town and my social set; getting with writers, but also absorbing the vibe of the college students I observed each day on my way to and from the hotel where the conference took place.

I think that’s what sparks creativity–new stimuli. Not wandering around a park waiting for inspiration to strike like lightning, but exposing one’s mind to new and different sights, sounds, smells, tastes, people, and settings.

All in all, while not perfect and suffering from growing pains this year, the UWWI was a success for me, and worth my time, money and effort to get there.

My questions to you: Where do you go for inspiration? What conventions, seminars, classes, etc. have benefitted your personal career?

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