What Happens When You Pay Attention IWSG

Friday morning I had a Saturday post all mentally scribbled about the woes of car-ownership because I finally picked up my car from the shop only to have it stall out on me on the way home. I turned it off and back on again and it was fine. Then, on my way out to see a bestie who now resides in CT and was down for a wedding, the Check Engine light came on and I spent the 45-minute trip out to see her praying that the shaking car wouldn’t stall on me since I forgot to renew my AAA.

Thank God it didn’t stall and everything was fine (and my bestie and I had a lovely time—thanks for asking). Car still shakes but maybe it’s just as hyped up on caffeine as I am. You know what they say about cars and their owners 😉 I came home all ready to write and strategize and market and Patreon-brainstorm but even the mid-afternoon iced coffee didn’t help and I ended up watching Friends on the couch with Appa, which is somehow exactly what I needed. (I think I overworked my brain or something because I sat and stared at the computer for almost half an hour before I decided my muse or energy troll or whatever fuels the creativity box was out on its own coffee break and I was starting to go cross-eyed..)

I guess this post should really begin with Saturday’s event which included the Jax Book Festival! Last Tuesday, while working *cough checking fb cough* I found that we were having our very own book festival (sort of) right here in downtown Jacksonville. The headliner caught my eye because I actually read Everything Everything (although I wasn’t a huge fan) but the chance to hear an acclaimed author speak was just too much to pass up. So, in lieu of having our scheduled garage sale, it took Batman very little convincing** to have him drop me off at the Public Library so I could listen to Nicola Yoon talk about her journey of writing the bestseller and all the inns and outs of writing/publishing.

What I learned about the shy author is that she’d been in finance for fifteen years, and it wasn’t until the birth of her daughter that she realized she wasn’t following the advice she would give her baby girl: follow your dreams. It took having a child to realize she wasn’t living the life she wanted and decided to change that. Afterward, she woke up early to write from 4-6 before her day job (I think – she has a soft voice and didn’t speak directly into the microphone) and from there she wrote Everything Everything.

It was great listening and learning and I even asked my own question amidst the auditorium of people which is HUGE for me since I have a ridiculous amount of stage fright/anxiety when it comes to public speaking/being the center of attention. She’d talked about the writing process and I asked about the number of drafts she went through (6) because I’m always slightly weary that I’m not going through the ‘right’ amount of drafts. But I was surrounded by a lot of writers and it was awesome to see that they struggled with the same issues and had the same burning questions as me.

Managed to remember to snag a photo!

I couldn’t *not* take a pic when I’m so obviously fan-girling over here.

On the way out, one last pic to capture the event!

Besides the speakers, the halls were *lined* with tables of authors (both traditionally and self-published) and all kinds of cool swag and stuff. I even won a keychain from Tracie Roberts It was awesome to see my fellow authors strutting their stuff because I know this is what I need to be doing. Once the swag is obtained and I have *some* clue how to get a table of my own there, I think I could rock it. A few Zanax beforehand and why not? I can do this. Know why? BECAUSE I GOT THIS. Do I have any clue how I have this? No. But still, I got this.

What about you? Ever been to a book festival like this? Ever listened to an author speak and identified with the struggle? What’d you think?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

** Want to know why I love Batman? Because when I asked if we could switch the date for the garage sale and he asked why and I told him about the book festival, he looked at me and said ‘baby, if it helps with your writing, then it’s not even a question.’

Let the swooning begin 🙂

23 thoughts on “What Happens When You Pay Attention IWSG

  1. Loni Townsend says:

    Awww, that is great of Batman. 🙂 That’s cool you got to go to the event. I occasionally get to attend some, but mostly I don’t because of the kids.

  2. mpepper says:

    I actually didn’t go back to writing until I had my first child either. I was working in publishing as an editor at the time, and I realized if I kept doing everyone else’s books I’d never do my own. (Though I do still take freelance editing jobs now and then!)

  3. Jennifer Lane says:

    Way to face your anxiety and ask a question from the audience! And to check out an author event. I’ve been to several and have met lovely authors and readers.

  4. C.D. Gallant-King says:

    I’ve been meaning to check out a writers/book festival for ages. The last one I went to, before I published myself, ended with my buying a half-dozen terrible books from self-published authors that I felt bad for. Surely if I set up my own table, someone would feel bad and do the same for me, right?

  5. Lidy says:

    Have yet to go to a book festival but have heard an author speak before. It was my freshman year of college and even met the author once. My English professor and advisor introduced us. Even got her autograph but lost the book years ago. 🙁
    And I’m in agreement with the author you’ve mentioned. Aside from getting all these stories outside of my head, another reason I write is to show my kids about going after your dreams.

    • cgcoppola says:

      YES! I don’t really plan on having kids, so when she said that, I thought, ‘huh. Interesting the different things that motivate us.’ Definitely go to a book festival if you can! I *highly* recommend it 🙂

  6. Madeline Mora-Summonte says:

    I haven’t been to one in awhile but book festivals are so much fun! And I so enjoy hearing authors speak – I’ve heard lots, and I always learn something.

    That was totally a swoon-worthy comment from Batman! 🙂

  7. yhosby says:

    Batman sounds amazing. He’s a keeper 🙂 That’s great that you got to ask a question. I would’ve been so nervous! It gives me hope that I’m not the only writer who goes through 6 or more drafts before having a finished project.

    I hope you get to join the book festival next year. Try googling it to see if there’s any contact info on the website. Someone can give you details on how to submit your books or when the deadline usually is. Good luck 🙂

    Keep smiling,

  8. Elizabeth Otten says:

    You’re Batman sounds wonderful 🙂 That book festival sounds fun. I’ve been wanting to go to something like that for a while. Conference-type events tend to motivate me.

  9. Diane Burton says:

    Aww. Your Batman is a true Superhero. Book/Writer events are great. Some I’ve been to are so-so while at others the lightbulb goes off above my head. I’ll hear one thing and I’ve solved the problem I was having with my WIP. How lucky you are that you went.

  10. Joleene Naylor says:

    There is no “right” number of drafts. Some books take three, some take ten. It depends on the books itself, and the story. There are no magic numbers anywhere, not a number of betas or editors or hours spent on it. When it’s done, it’s done, and that’s it. I have a habit of over editing – if I had my way I would still be editing book 1, so I have learned to cut it loose, LOL! My rule is when I have the chunks memorized and think it is the worst book ever because I’m sick of it, then it’s pretty much done editing (unless someone finds a plot hole or something).

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