Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On Sunday, I attended the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance's Business of Writing conference. There were good tidbits about the reality of the business side of writing, which were both encouraging and discouraging.
Because I have been a Nurse Practitioner for over 25 years, I don't think much about the amount of study and work that went into getting to where I am in competence and skill. It is easy to think that writing is something anyone can do. In this day of instant communication there is a lot of writing out there, but most of it isn't professional writing for which someone should be paid. While talent is a part of the equation, publishing and selling writing requires polishing the craft and lots of hard work. I don't think anyone assumes that becoming a brain surgeon can be accomplished by going into an operating room and starting to saw open someone's skull.
As I rewrite my memoir Loving Hannah: Childhood Cancer Treatment from the Other Side of the Bed, I take hope from what I learn at conferences like this. Since I first wrote the introduction at Pyramid Life Center Women's Writing Retreat, I have continued to learn how to hone the craft of writing. The process of becoming skilled takes time and lots of AIC (ass in chair) discipline, as one presenter told us. It didn't take me 25 years to attain the knowledge to be a Nurse Practitioner, but during that time, to be good at it, I had to keep learning. Good writing takes that same dedication and commitment.

Thought for the day: Balance isn't just staying upright without tilting side to side, it is feeling centered inside one's own body.

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