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pathHad a fantastic evening in the dorms last night talking about books, writing, and the world’s thickest strawberry pie. The best thing about the MFAC residency is the supportive writers I get to meet. It impossible to explain in a blog. You’ll just have to come meet them yourself.

The two speakers today were Jill Davis and Clare Vanderpool.

Jill is an editor at HarperCollins (is it one word or two?) and Clare has written two YA novels (both award winning).

Jill’s BOOM Moment:

Your book needs to have something extra that an editor can use to make it stand out to the magical people who say yes or no. Because once you get an agent to believe in you and that agent gets an editor to believe in you, that editor then needs to get the publisher to believe in you before that book contract lands in your mail box. So what can make you stand out? It’s not a questions with an easy answer. And the answer is most likely different for every author. Jill noted using an interesting POV or structure.

Clare’s BOOM Moment:

There are seasons in writing. Sometimes you have fruitful seasons where you write a lot. Sometimes you have seasons where your life doesn’t permit you to write at all. No matter what season you are in, enjoy this time. What’s happening right now. Whatever it is. Get back to the writing when you can. No guilt.

I don’t know about you but when I hear smart people talk about writing, sometimes I get really scared. Actually. That’s not true. The truth is that I’m scared all the time. Scared that I can’t actually finish a book. Scared that even if I do, no one will want to read it. Scared that I’ve wasted all this money trying to learn how to write and nothing will come of it. Scared that I’m going to have to tell the people in my life that, actually, I’m not going to be a writer. It turns out I didn’t have what it takes.

Most days I feel so scared that I don’t write a single word.

I don’t know what to do about this except to send it out into the interwebs (like I’ve done a million times before) and keep trying.