The first time I went to a writer's conference, I was considering if maybe I really could do something besides write literary analyses and blog posts. I was seriously doubting my ability to be a writer. Shoot, at the time I was working on figuring out how to TEACH creative writing and questioning why on earth I was given the job.
I started took a Creative Writing class at the local university, spent endless hours trying to figure out how to teach teens how to find ideas, how to plot, how to build tension, and how to write something besides emo gore and Renaissance romance. (Seriously, a person can only take so many stories with the girl on the balcony, with the wind gently tossing her hair, curtains blowing in the wind, wishing her father would just understand that her love is enough...)
I listened to Shannon Hale, started following writer's blogs, participated in NaNoWriMo a few times, and realized I loved the process. I went to UVU and was a deer in the headlights most of the two day conference.
People were talking about queries, agents, point of view, and I was just trying to figure out if my characters had already been written. I didn't even know what was going to happen to them.
This time, I felt like it was the chance for me to meet people. At this point, I only know of four others in my beloved town who are pursuing the writing dream.
This time, I opened my mouth, something that generally isn't difficult for me to do. I met people, got ideas of how to meet more people, and am still riding a writing high that even mountains of grading can't bring me down from.
Reflecting on the process has helped me realize that I'm a bit like Bob.
And I have another writer's workshop to attend this weekend. Let the high continue!