Monday, April 26, 2010

Storymakers Conference Part I

Wow, what a weekend. I attended the 2010 LDS Storymakers Conference held at the Provo Marriott on Friday and Saturday and got my brain filled to overflowing. I took 18 pages of notes to try to hold it all in. Of the writing conferences I've been to so far, this one has been by far the best. There were nine class sessions with six classes for each one. I couldn't even begin to make it to all the classes I wanted to attend. I'll start off with some of my initial thoughts and I'll have to release other ideas as they come to me later.

NY Times bestselling author David Wolverton/Farland was the keynote speaker on Friday. He quoted Kevin Anderson, when someone said to him how lucky he was to be so well published, Anderson said, "The harder I work, the luckier I get." Wolverton then added his twist to it, "If you want to be struck by lighting, you have to go out and stand in the way." These statements were made about writing, but they apply to many areas, music included.

Something else that stood out to me was when he talked about the importance of staying healthy. He didn't elaborate, but it struck me because I think that is a big reason why I can write today when I couldn't ten years ago. When I took a class a few years ago from Orson Scott Card, he said the same thing. Jazz musicians Eric Marienthal and Gordon Goodwin mentioned it as well when they came here in February. There's a theme here (note to self: can-o-worms this idea for later blog post).

Something I heard several times was that comedy is one of the hardest things to write. I feel like that is the only thing I can write. It's easy. Of course, people who barely know me can't believe that I have a sense of humor. The young men in our church are all afraid of me and don't want to ask my daughters out because I look so cranky all the time. I can live with that.

One last thing for now, I feel like I have no idea how to really write. I'm a musician, not a writer. I barely know what verbs and nouns are, let alone other parts of speech. I'm sometimes a little embarrassed to say that I'm a published author, since I don't feel like I really know what I'm doing. As I got a chance to meet and talk with other published authors, though, I found a lot of them feel the same. We mainly just want tell stories. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Next time, I'll try to break down some other things I learned from the various classes I attended.

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