The pictures are still coming; I thought I’d share some of my favorites, along with some final thoughts about the experience. ‘Amazing’ hardly captures it, but it probably comes closest to summarizing the week.
We arrived as a nervous and skittery group of writers, most of whom barely knew each other except through the Forum, and by the end of the week, we had all learned to ignore the cameras (just like the pros), written a story in 24 hours (just like the pros), survived two book signings (just like the pros) and forged lifelong bonds of friendship with our peeps. The ‘Class of 31’ has graduated into the ranks of the neo-pros. We still have a lot to learn, but we’re on our way.
Along with the main event, the lessons we learned from the greats in our field has been life-changing, and the 24-hour story taught me that there is no reason whatsoever for me to ever say ‘I don’t have time to write’.
This week has been the biggest single event of my writing career (and probably my life, for that matter), but I know there are many more milestones ahead. Like all the other winners, I’ve earned the formal validation I’ve so yearned for from the masters of my craft. But this is not the time to rest on the laurels of this one success; I’ve got other dreams and goals off in the horizon. Along with the rest of my class, I’ve earned a new first name, “Award-Winning Author”, but I cannot allow myself to become complacent. I’ve got more craft classes and workshops lined up for later this year; in this business, there is no end to the learning.
I’m still paying my dues, but now it’s time to start earning a living…