Life the Universe and Everything is winding down to its end and I'm home again with a binder full of notes based on the wisdom of many smart and friendly people. It was wonderful though tiring near the end. 3 straight days of sitting in plastic chairs can do that, I guess. I definitely want to return next year, perhaps as one of the panelists. I have ideas too.
Today's highlights included hearing more of James A Owens guerrilla and sometimes Catch Me If You Can-ish efforts to advance his career. He is funny and inspirational with how hard he worked to achieve his life dreams. If you ever get a chance, he is worth listening to.
Howard Taylor gave great advice on the Artists On Art panel. Focused practice on what you are NOT good at and getting a mentor to tell you how to practice correctly so you're not reinforcing bad habits. Brilliant... and explains Howard's recent focus on boots (In Schlock Mercenary, he was avoiding drawing feet most of the time). The ingredients for success are: Passion, Hard Work, Time, and A Good Mentor. Nowhere in that formula is talent. Anyone can succeed but it will take work.
The panel on what authors wished they had done differently if they had known had good advice too. The writers who fail are those that write one or two books and either never publish or become a one hit wonder that fades and gets forgotten. Those that succeed keep writing even when many of their stories are rejected over and over or don't sell. The writers on writing panel echoed that Theme with L.E. Modesitt Jr talking about the massive numbers of stories he couldn't sell, before and after breaking into the market. Yet, he refused to stop writing. One question was posed, even if nobody else ever wanted to buy your stories, would you still write them anyway? My answer is yes!