Went to LibCon at the central library in Orlando yesterday. It was a good event – well planned, and well attended. I got to meet a variety of readers and writers of various genres – young adult, middle grade, fantasy, mystery – though it seemed to me that the books veered toward YA and MG.
I attended several of the panels: creating characters, young adult novels, and non-fiction writing. It was nice to hear what the panelists had to say. Two of the best tips on writing that I heard, and unfortunately I can’t remember who exactly said them, were “write with confidence” and “believe in your writing”. I find that writing with confidence works – when you’re writing, write like you know what you’re doing, and that confidence will come across on the page. And if you believe in your writing, you won’t change your vision based on negative feedback or those distracting little voices in your head saying “this isn’t good enough, don’t bother”. True, if your agent or editor has suggestions for changes to your manuscript, perhaps you should give them weight – but if you throw your project off track because someone in your critique group has harsh words about it, you may be doing the wrong thing.
One interesting thing I found in the Orlando library was a room full of training simulators! They had one for driving, one for flying, one for operating an excavator, and one for operating a forklift. These were part of the Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center, an amazing and free resource if you have an Orange County library card. They have these simulators, a music production studio, a variety of technical and computer programming classes, and a computer lab. Definitely worth checking out if you live in the area.
And if you look carefully (or maybe not so carefully), you can see me in the reflection on the window!