Hello, readers! It's that time of year again: today I'm participating in the Ch1Con & Ch21Con 2019 Blog Tour, an annual tour in preparation for this year’s conferences, which brings original content from the Chapter One Events team to a number of fantastic, writing-related blogs.
Chapter One Events is a nonprofit organization that brings writing information and publishing opportunities to young writers, culminating in the Chapter One Young Writers Conference (Ch1Con, ages 11-20) and Chapter Twenty-One Conference (Ch21Con, ages 21-29) each year. The two conferences bring tweens, teens, and young adults together to hear from accomplished authors their own age, participate in professional workshops, and celebrate the influence young writers have on the world. With an atmosphere that combines the professional aspects of writing conferences with the awesomeness of hanging out with fellow young book nerds, Ch1Con and Ch21Con are truly can’t-miss events!
The Chapter One Events team is composed of a mix of middle school, high school, college, and twenty-something writers who work together to create a unique, inclusive experience for young attendees. One of these team members is here today to talk about a subject important to me right now: rekindling your passion for writing. Everyone, please say hello to Katie Sherwood!
Katie Sherwood is the Deputy Creative Consultant for the Ch21Con team. She’s a librarian by day, a writer by night and her favorite part of both those jobs is providing joy for others through books. She’s also a gamer, which has very little to do with books but is awesome anyway. You can find Katie on Twitter (@SherwoodWriter) and on her blog at www.robynghoode.wordpress.com
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a writer who loves writing will also eventually hate it just as much at the same time.
Seriously. If you haven’t picked up on this yet, it is a truth and also a joke among writers that we procrastinate writing, don’t like writing, moan, groan, and complain about writing. I mean, no hobby/job is perfect, and everyone has bad days, but it seems strange that we can complain so much about something we claim to love so much. It is very much a choice; no one is making us write. We chose it, so why do we not want to do it? Because at times, our passion for writing dwindles, sometimes to the point where we start to wonder why we write.
What causes people to stop loving writing? I don’t know about you, but when I started writing, it was all I did. I needed to write like I needed air. These days, I have to jump on the times that I’m inspired and sometimes make myself write when I’m not. What happened?
Well, in my case, a bunch of different things happened. The first thing was that I learned what makes a book “technically” good. No longer can I just throw dragons at my characters with no plan. Those dragons need to be carefully plotted. Gone are the days of my characters having random detours. If it doesn’t pertain to the plot, it doesn’t go into the book. Things have to be thought through, and I have to follow the rules. The second thing was that I have other hobbies. I’m a reader and a gamer. Sometimes I’d rather mess about in someone else’s already made world than my own. I’d rather read about the dragons or fight them than write them. Third, I got a job, a really cool job, but time escaped me. By the time I get home every night at 8:30 or 9, writing is not really the thing I want to do. My brain is dead. All I want to do is eat dinner, do some social media, or watch an episode of Star vs. The Forces of Evil… and then go to bed. None of that requires me seriously structuring plots, characters, or sentences.
So, how do we rekindle our passion for writing? How do we make it so it’s less of a chore and more of a joyful event? Oddly enough, this is the the same process as becoming closer to a person you love. Not even a romantic love. A family member. A friend.
It is going to take a little bit of work, but you can be passionate about writing again. You can love writing as you once did. Now go forth and write!
Like Katie's post? I do! Point number three is especially true for me: if I'm not writing regularly or fast enough, I tend to enjoy my story a lot less! For more helpful writing advice, check out Ch1Con and Ch21Con.
This year, Ch1Con is bigger and brighter than ever, with more opportunities, cooler giveaways, and a new roundup of fantastic speakers headlining the conference. Ch21Con will feature the same speakers and opportunities—just tailored to a slightly older audience. Both conferences will take place Saturday, June 29th at the Hilton Garden Inn – Chicago O’Hare in Des Plaines, IL (a suburb of Chicago). Registration is currently open on the conferences’ respective websites for $99.99. (This price includes a complimentary pizza party lunch during the conferences, with alternate options available for those with dietary restrictions.)
The speaker lineup features Joan He (author of Descendant of the Crane – Albert Whitman & Co.), Riley Redgate (author of several books, including Final Draft – Abrams/Amulet), and more! Between the awesome presentations and workshops, attendees will have the chance to participate in literary trivia games and giveaways with prizes including professional critiques, signed books, and advance readers copies (ARCs). There will also be an author panel open to any and all questions at the end of the conferences, followed by a book signing by participating speakers.
During downtime, all participants are free to explore Chicago, relax at the beautiful hotel (where a discounted block of rooms is available for attendees), and network with one another, establishing the sort of vital connections that can jumpstart careers and create lifelong friendships. The conference weekend will kick off with parties on Friday evening. For the Ch1Con crowd, this will be a gathering in the hotel lobby, where lemonade and assorted snacks will be provided. For the Ch21Con crowd, the Friday night party will be an informal cocktail hour hosted at the hotel bar, the Garden Grille & Bar.
More information on transportation and lodging can be found on the Ch1Con and Ch21Con websites. Early bird registration is currently available here for Ch1Con (ages 11-20) and here for Ch21Con (ages 21-29). Those under 18 need a parent or guardian’s consent in order to register.
So, if you’re a young writer and you’re interested in these conferences, register ASAP! With a growing number of tweens, teens, and young adults discovering the magic of Chapter One Events, seats are sure to sell out fast. The last day to register before the higher late rate registration price begins is June 14th. For more information and to join the Ch1Con and Ch21Con communities online, check out the following links:
Chapter One Young Writers Conference (Ages 11-20)
Chapter Twenty-One Conference (Ages 21-29)
The Chapter One Young Writers Conference
Every story needs a beginning. This is yours.
The Chapter Twenty-One Conference
The twenties are rough, man. We’ll get through them together.
Thanks for reading, everyone! Share your thoughts about rekindling your writing passion and about the conferences, and I'll be back next week with a video post reorganizing my bookshelf. You can follow the rest of the Ch1Con & Ch21Con 2019 Blog Tour at: www.chapteroneconference.org or www.chapter21conference.org.
Images via Chapter One Events and Katie Sherwood.
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