Tuesday, May 2, 2017

SCBWI-IL Spring Thaw 2017

Last weekend I almost missed out on a great experience: my first SCBWI-IL Spring Thaw writing workshop.

My alarm went off at 6.15 am. 
I hit snooze.
I did not want to get up this early on such a rainy, miserable Saturday.
My bed was warm.
My hubby was breathing quietly.
And I didn’t have a manuscript ready. Or a pitch. This was, after all, a “pitch perfect” workshop.

“Just go back to sleep, you’re such a loser,” my saboteur suggested.

As I formulated that word – saboteur – something else awoke within me.

I’d been working with a life coach who was also a friend for a few years. I had been wondering lately whether I was really getting enough out of the sessions. My conscious mind (saboteur?) did not think it was helping me. It was costing me money I could spend on workshops. It was taking time I could be writing… On Saturday, April 29, 2017 I got my answer. YES, it was helping me. Otherwise, I would have buried my head under the sheets and gone back to a fitful, guilt-ridden sleep.

With a jolt of realization, I got up.
I decided it was OK that I might be a few minutes late- didn’t happen.
I decided I’d feel better for having driven over an hour to St. Charles on this dismal Saturday.

I got to the workshop and immediately felt a sense of accomplishment.
My yoga teacher ends every session with: “Remember to thank yourself. You got yourself here today.”

And so I did.
I thanked myself for getting to the workshop.
I was thankful for the picture book workshop conducted by Tom Lichtenheld. He is a wonderful speaker and a genuine person.
I stressed a bit about the pitch session, but found out that I wasn’t the only one who’d messed up. It was also extremely beneficial to participate in the process and not be stressing about my own pitch. I just took it all in and tried to learn from others.
The fact that I didn’t have a pitch gave the group additional time to just talk and have conversations about writing, editing and the creative process in general.
As our Agent, Kelly Barrales-Saylor confirmed, we had some really good conversations.

Sometimes, that’s all you need. See you there next year... better prepared, or not.

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