I just returned from an inspiring writer’s retreat at Carmel by the Sea, California, hosted by The Book Mama, Linda Sivertsen, who I initially discovered from her Beautiful Writers Podcast.
If I had understood the level of success and expertise held by Linda and the other talented participants, this Indiana-ex-English-teacher-with-a-book-publishing-dream, might not have had the confidence to go. For whatever reason, I filled out the application and hit the send button. Linda phoned, invited me, and I paid my tuition. I’m beyond grateful that I did.
At first glance, the program appears to be geared toward writers of non-fiction. I was the only fiction writer at this retreat; however, the magic of Linda’s Carmel writing retreat is not genre bound. Generosity of spirit, intuitiveness, and creativity encourage equally.
It was Linda’s connections to agents and publishers that initially piqued my interest. Her bi-coastal network includes folks I watch on T.V. or stand in line to meet at book signings. Unbeknownst to me, what I really sought was affirmation, from someone in the writing/publishing industry, that I’m good enough. All those rejection letters have been hard on me. And yes, I got it.
The Universe has been working to help me understand that even though the literary world seems to super-value Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, and Virginia Woolf, some of the authors I introduced to my high school students, there is still a mighty welcome for the likes of Erma Bombeck and Chicken Soup for the Soul writers. The world needs many voices.
My print message is simple and mirrors my being: Life can be fun. Living Plan B (the title of my novel) can be an adventure. Losing “Plan A” may open the door to an unexpected blessing.
I returned from the retreat with a strategy for success and the confidence to connect with my inner voice and write what makes me proud; value what makes me happy. As a writer, just like as a person, I can be who I am.
Joseph Campbell says “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
Happily writing forward. Now that’s worth the price of admission!