Last weekend was "Life, the Universe, and Everything" symposium hosted at UVU. This was the 30th year of the symposium but the first time it has been held away from BYU. There were a few growing pains, but overall it went well and was enjoyable. One nice thing about it being at UVU is that it was closer to my house, only a couple of miles away, and I have a faculty parking permit. The best thing about it, though, is the quality of writers that are there to speak on the panels: Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, David Farland/Wolverton, Tracy Hickman, Larry Correia, Dan Wells, and James Dashner, just to name a few.
Oh, and of course, I was there, too.Which was quite humbling. I ended up leaving this LTUE feeling a little discouraged. Not because of the quality of the event, but I just came away with the feeling that I really don't know what the heck I'm doing. The panel I was on about writing suspense was great and I even had a few worthwhile sound bites, but Jeff Savage, Clint Johnson, James Dashner, and Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury all said things so profoundly that I wished I could have been in the audience taking notes. It made me wonder why I was even trying to write.
Now this isn't the first time I've been discouraged. It's par for the course when you're a writer. For me, though, it ends up being a positive thing. Sure, I feel like throwing in the towel for a few hours, but usually I wake up the next morning and think, "Well, I'm not where I need to be so I better get busy." I'm taking those areas that I feel inadequate at and making efforts to strengthen them. I guess this is the musician in me that does this. That's what learning music is, finding our weak areas and then practicing them like crazy until they become strengths. Heck, life it like that for that matter.
So, fear not, I'm not giving up. I'm just knuckling down and trying to make myself better. Oh, and happy Valentine's Day.