Thursday, May 26, 2011


Last Saturday's conference was a wonderful experience. I was energized by the great speakers and fellowship with other writers. So much great info! I'll be savoring it for some time.

Author and keynote speaker Laura Resnick offered this advice: "Breathe." Okay, so breathing is key to our existence, we know this. But her message was further clarified when she spoke of her writing adventures, which include being burned by agents (not one, but several). Her bottom line? We need to be alert and proactive with our writing careers. Contracts, connections, and bestsellers don't happen while engaging in couch potato activities or playing computer games.

Ever hear of the 10,000 hour rule? That's how many hours it often takes to be proficient at something. Laura stressed the importance of working hard to polish writing skills.

Oh, and about that breathing thing, she also mentioned some of the stress induced ailments she experienced when tangled up in the writing/agent/publication process. All because she should have been breathing the right way, instead of the kind of breathing done in her stress mode. These ailments, by the way, disappeared when she resolved the conflict.

Laura's advice struck a chord with me. It should work for writers of all genres - write, be proactive, and don't be afraid to break a few "traditional" rules along the way. Wise words, don't you think?

I'll share more about the conference next week. Stay tuned. :) (Hint: authors Annie Jones, Ann Gabhart,  Virginia Smith, and poet Sherry Chandler were the other speakers.)

And by the way

Thanks to those who stopped to see Monday's guest post over at Pen and Prosper. I feel like I have my very own cheering section. If you missed it and would like to check it out, click here.

What energizes your writing? Please share!

Have a great weekend!


Photo credit: Sierra Madre, CA dockeretz


  1. I have never ever heard of the 10,000 hour rule. No wonder I'm not so proficient!!! Whew that's a lot of hours! Thanks for the info.

  2. Sounds like the conference was very worthwhile. I'll look forward to reading more.

  3. "Breathe." Exactly what I needed to hear. I find myself so preoccupied at the computer that I know I do a lot of shallow breathing!

    Thanks for sharing about the conference. Looking forward to reading more about it :-)

  4. Oooh, that's really intriguing about breathing. I think I've heard about that before, and how important it is.
    Sounds like you had an amazing time. ;-)

  5. Sandie,
    Well, I'm nowhere near where I need to be either! lol We'll get there. :)

    It was; I'm so glad I was able to go. Will share more soon!

    Hope you are breathing better! :) I find myself doing the same thing, and now trying to be more conscious.

    She brought up some interesting points about it. I need to remember to practice them! :)

    Happy weekend,

  6. I definitely regret not participating in more conferences. I think this is one area I need to make more time and energy for--I miss them! So glad it filled your tank!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  7. Hi Karen .. the breath = our tenet to life ... I keep hearing the power of meditation, even if only as a centreing force ... the calmness and relaxed state we, as humans, best operate in .. we are ready and in the now ..

    Good to hear you enjoyed yourself .. and I look forward to next week's posts and hearing more - Hilary

  8. Conferences are always inspiring but I don't need them to be inspired. Usually watching a great movie or book has the same effect!

  9. I have heard about the 10,000 hour rule. Writing does take a lot of effort to truly sparkle. Good reminder about breathing. :)

  10. So glad you had a productive time. I could be a real conference junkie if I had the finances. I love learning and I love teaching so it's a double blessing. Keep sharing about your experience!
    Blessings Karen

  11. It sounds like Laura's talk was amazing!! I would've loved to have heard it! Thanks for sharing some of it.

  12. Angela,
    Maybe we should set up a scholarship fund and take turns attending. :)

    Breathing is so important, isn't it? We cold all use a little more calm, I think.

    Yes, this is true. Even conversations between writers can provide a boost.

    Yes, and sparkling is a good thing. Great point!

    I know what you mean! Perhaps someday when our ships come in we could do a circuit of conferences! :)

    She was great! It was such a pleasure to soak it in.

    Have a great weekend all,

  13. Karen, you sound so ENERGIZED!!!!
    Thanks for refreshing us with your experience!

  14. Fantastic advice and an important reminder. Looking forward to hearing more!

  15. Does the ten thousand hours rule count even if you write really slow?

  16. I am so glad you had a wonderful and inspiring time Karen!
    Breathing.... that IS wonderful advice when you feel you're being choked by chores and dead lines..
    Thanks for sharing, have a great weekend.

  17. Breathing... wow, does that make sense. I caught a throat/lung virus and I've been having problems breathing for 13 straight days. Makes you appreciate breathing even more. Everything falls into place when we breathe: actions, quests, yearnings.

    Thanks, Karen. Super post!

  18. Cheryl,
    I am. :) Hoping some rubs off on all of you!

    I know! I was excited, and wanted to share it. :)

    LOL! I'm not sure, but we could give it a try!

    I did, thank you! :) Yes, breathing right helps with so many things.

    Hope you are feeling better soon. Watching the Canucks play (and win!) might help some, I'm sure. :)

    Happy weekend,

  19. Sorry I missed this my Google is really acting up. :(

    Any way it sounds like some great advice was given and taken. I like the part about couch potato activities. :) (My weakness)

    Have a great weekend.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  20. Hey amigo! You lucky thing. The conference and all. It sounds like you and now we have been given excellent advice.

    I hope you have an awesome Memorial Day weekend. Love you, my amigo. :-)


  21. That's so great! I always feel energized after a writer's conference!

  22. Alex, I don't think the 10,000 hours thing would've worked for the Beatles if THEY played really slow! I love remembering the 10,000 hour idea because then I can ease back a bit and do just that - breathe.

  23. Hi Karen, glad you've been invigorated. it sounds like a great workshop you attended. I like the advice and the 10,000 hours thing is very thought provoking :O)

  24. Excellent advice, especially the part about being proactive.

    I missed your guest post, so will go check it out now.

  25. Jules,
    Don't be sorry, it wasn't posted all that long ago. You're allowed to have a life! :D

    Thanks amigo! You have a great weekend too, okay?

    It's very refreshing, isn't it?

    You have a good point! Wonder what Alex would say. :)

    Me too. LOL! I'm working on my 10,000, how about you?

    I thought her advice was good, and so timeless, you know? Thanks for checking out the guest post. :)

    Happy weekend,

  26. Hi Karen, I enjoyed reading your guest post. You go girl!
    And I am pleased to read you feel refreshed from your conference.

    Have a beautiful week. Big hug. xxx

  27. Hi Karen -

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the conference! Meeting other writers and going to workshops stimulates the writer genes.

    Prayer and reading blogs keep me energized.

    Susan :)

  28. Sounds like a grand time! I'll just live vicariously through you:)

    Peace & Blessings,

  29. Raymonde,
    Hugs to you too, my friend! Thanks for taking the time to read the guest post. You are a sweetheart! :)

    That's a good way to put it - stimulating the writer's genes! I may have to borrow that one. lol

    It was! Okay, so send me a list of the adventures you'd like me to take on your behalf...:)

    Happy weekend,

  30. Breathing sounds like such a small thing, but you'd be surprised how many people get it wrong when they're busy or stressed. Your conference sounds like it was great.
    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

  31. I love her admonition! Glad you had such an awesome time! I need to go to one!

  32. Charmaine,
    I agree. I am much more conscious of it now!

    Me too! It was really good. :)


  33. Wonderful! So glad you got some "fresh air." We so need that from time to time. And thank you for reminding me to take my own advice! Breathe in. Breathe out. One step at a time.

    Happy holidays!

  34. Hi Karen,
    Good to be here, I am here via Rachana's page.
    That 10000 one is really a new thing to me. Breathing of course is a serious one, but unfortunately our atmosphere is getting polluted day by day and fresh one is seldom get.
    For a fresh breath we need to grow or plant more and more trees around our surroundings. I have posted a knol and a blog on this subject Tree and its importance.
    Would like to read more such informative posts
    Keep inform
    I joined in the battalion LOL
    Keep Going
    Best regards

  35. The 10k rule- I wonder what I'm up to now.

    Thanks for sharing the advice.

  36. Karen,

    I wish I had learned of that 10,000 hour rule ages ago (like when I was six!). I first heard of the notion in "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell and the concept really turned my head around. I used to think that people were either naturally good at something (like writing or skiing) or they simply weren't. Now I realize that we can all do just about anything we put our minds to -- including becoming really, really good writers --if we just invest the time and the energy into it.

    I only have about 9,999 hours to go . . .


  37. Rhonda,
    Yes, one step at a time! And breathe! Don't forget, okay?

    Very nice to meet you! Thanks for following. Enjoyed my stop at your blog.

    Probably more hours than you think! I wonder if we can count our thinking time in there? :)

    I have about the same number of hours to go! lol Thanks for your thoughts. :)



Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!