Steps In Between

Celaine Charles ~ My journey as a writer ~ Author site:

Gleaning Wisdom (Virtual Writer’s Conference Confessions)

There’s a certain dazzle that surrounds me when I attend a writer’s conference. I’ve come far from my first experience in 2017, where I ate lunch in my car and sat solo in the back of every workshop. By 2019, I had made new friends through a PNWA writing class. And since then, many of my classmates and I still meet regularly in a critique group. As many authors tend to write in isolation, getting together in person with other writers is often refreshing and motivational. Therefore, I wondered how this year’s conference would work online?

Well, there were downsides and upsides, so I suppose this years’ experience was simply different.

Last year’s seminar was filled with engaging workshops, lunch with friends, assembling together for lectures, and enjoying social cocktails before dinner. Unfortunately, this year’s meeting had me sitting in front of a computer screen, in my jammies. Alone.

What have I learned? Well, far more than I expected.

Although it’s been a blend of prerecorded videos and live teachings from authors and editors, a few realizations rang true. My impulsiveness made it difficult to stick through sessions all the way through. I am not going to lie, I jumped around a bit. Honestly, it wasn’t because of the content, I just found it hard to sit through everything at home by myself. Sometimes I was antsy to start writing, my inspiration bursting at the seams. Other times I felt I’d heard most of the content before, and not that it was bad, but rather I felt ready for meatier material because of where I am now in my journey.

Here’s a snapshot of my FAVORITE Class! I was in my jammies, hence no picture of me. This was a class about first pages and lines of each chapter and ways to tighten and enhance every single word! This masterclass was led by editor, Val M. Mathews. She was amazing and I would pay to see her again.

The overall good news? I found whatI needed, and how wonderful it was that the PNWA had workshops for writers of all levels. It goes to prove that any writer at any stage (beginning to advanced) can find what they need at a writer’s conference, especially the PNWA.

Possibilities! Even though I have missed out on seeing my writing friends, and being swept away by the energy and buzz that radiates in these live events, I feel full of possibilities. I have new tools in my writing craft box that I cannot wait to try out. And, because this year’s event was online, the organization is allowing us to see all the videos and recordings we missed throughout October. I will surely take advantage of that opportunity.

This year’s conference was not my favorite, by any means, but certainly, it was still worthwhile. I will be sharing bits of my favorite pieces of writing advice on my Instagram over the next couple of weeks. Look for me there at

Hopefully, we can all be together again next year.

For now, happy writing (because at least you’re writing).

Celaine Charles, September 27, 2020

Categories: Thoughts on writing...

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