I attended several of the panels this year before mine on "Developing Characters Your Readers Will Care About" with Bill Blume and Keesya Hill-Jones, who are so talented and fun. I enjoyed our talk. Here's what I learned from this year's creative writers:
1. Dale Brumfield encouraged writers to focus on reading, researching, writing, revising, and repeating all the above.
2. The authors recommended creating a writing schedule for yourself to ensure you have time to write and revise during your busy life.
3. Find and build your library of resources. Collect business cards and connect online with people you meet. You never know when you can help them or they can help you.
4. Make sure that you back up your computer files. It's heartbreaking when you lose your work in progress.
5. If you really want to write something powerful, fictionalize your worst secret.
6. Use your writing as a safe space to explore your deep and creative thoughts.
7. Writing also lets you experience things inside the minds of your characters.
8. Balance is key in your writing. And if you write short stories, you need to pay attention to this because you have smaller space to tell your tale.
9. Exploit everything you hear or come in contact with. Make sure you jot down notes when you observe people or hear dialogue. It will provide you with ideas for your stories.
10. Writing is a business, and you need to treat yours as such.
This is one of my favorite annual book/writing events. If you're in Central Virginia, make sure to check it out.