I have officially returned from visiting my youngest fans (refer to GH day 103 if you do not know who my fans are). While there, my nieces and I played ping-pong. Now, I must outline a couple important points before I completely humiliate myself. First, I have played ping-pong less than 10 times in my lifetime. And second, my nieces and nephew play daily now that they are out of school for the summer. Now I can humiliate myself by confessing that both my nieces beat me quite soundly, even when my oldest niece played with her left hand (she is right-handed).
So after taking the walk of shame while my nieces danced their victory dances. I announced that I would have to find a ping-pong table and practice before they challenged me again. After all, you cannot expect someone to be an expert when they first pick up the paddle. Nor can you expect to be a talented writer the first words you pen to paper. It takes practice and dedication and someone to explain the rules to you. Remember that an avid reader does not make an amazing writer. Rather, you learn the basics from writing and writing and writing and interspersing this with learning.
Which is why I am so excited about going to RWA ® Nationals. The national conference is as close to writer nirvana as you can get. You can learn so many thing about craft or about the business of writing itself from authors, agents, editors, publishers. The possibilities are endless and awesome and I plan to suck up the knowledge and energy like a sponge. And the relationships you gain at these conferences are also something to cherish. Maybe I will find a good critique partner who will see the holes in my story and help me correct them before I have to walk the walk of shame again.
And as much as I don’t want my niece to have to play left-handed in order to give me a fighting chance at ping-pong, I don’t want to be left out entirely from the world of writing. So I learn and I mingle and I come away a better person and author. Plus, how can I not come away rejuvenated after I have spent days with thousands of writers like me?