Last year, after getting buried by an avalanche of writing setbacks during one of the bleakest times in my adult life (our beloved dog even died), I decided to take a writing sabbatical. I could no longer justify spending money on books, workshops, conferences, contests, etc., especially since I'd yet to find a job in our new town. I reasoned I had enough resources on my shelves, so I would spend the next year studying those along with materials I brought home from writing conferences.
I did pretty good. Not great, but good. I broke down and bought James Scott Bell's Revision & Self-Editing on its release, but I devoured it, highlighting sections and taping Post-It flags as markers. I also attended Christian Writers Den's annual mountain retreat, calling it a vacation of sorts. And then I purchased William Brohaugh's Write Tight (though I may have used a gift card.) I'm still working through it, but the material I have read has impacted my writing.
As of this week, the sabbatical is over. I'm more secure in myself and my place in the Lord. My critique group has taught me much, for which I'm eternally grateful, and I'm dedicated to revising drafts I've completed.
So, what's next? A plan. One of the first things on my list is choose a conference. The Blue Ridge conference starts tomorrow, so that's out. The ACFW conference is in Denver, and thus unattainable. I'm looking at choices, but not for the purpose of pitching. I need to evaluate potential so I can plan accordingly. My best option may be the more intimate Blue Ridge's annual Autumn in the Mountains conference.
I'm praying about it.