Sunday, July 11, 2010

Writer's Conference

I attended a writer's conference here in London recently and  it was a lovely experience. I left my children, husband and flat (after a thousand kisses and a huge helping of guilt) at 8:30 in the morning heading to the Maritime campus/Greenwich University in South East London. I have to say walking up the hill to the tube with all the other commuters busily reading their papers, moving at a clip, sipping coffee; filled with purpose and ready to face a day at the office was exhilarating.

I have always been a workaholic. That may seem like a bad thing to many, but to me it is a heady elixir  - like a steady heartbeat to joy. I hadn't realized how much I truly enjoy the pull of an office and all it entails. So I revelled in walking to the tube and piling on, heading out knowing I'd be busy all day working in a job I truly enjoy.

I took the tube to the DLR while reading a manuscript (of course) but I abandoned it to look out at the fantastic neighborhoods that are Cutty Sark and all the Quays. So quaint and beautiful with canals and boats in the harbours. I couldn't help but press my face to the glass with Lady Gaga doe eyes and smile in absolute glee. I was told not to live there because it was so far out of London - but it wasn't that far and it I found it absolutely charming.

I alighted at Cutty Sark and took my time wandering the  streets until my appointments at 10:30. Greenwich is just charming! I found myself slowly meandering and nearly jumped out of my skin when I realized I had 15 minutes to my appointments and had to dash through the campus to find out where I was supposed to be.

Now I've attended many writer's conference in my nearly 20 years in the publishing business but I found the people who pitched to me here were more than prepared. More than half were already published and all had a story or idea that I found intriguing, well thought out and beautifully presented. This was a first for me. Most of the time the meetings are dull and I find one or two things I actually request. Not this time. I requested everyone's work. It was that good.

Now I just have to wait for the partials to start rolling in - which I'm guessing will start tomorrow and last for the next few weeks. Good thing I cleared my schedule to do some reading!!!

As I mentioned, I really do enjoy my job and always wanted to reach this point in my career: where I could work from home and pick and chose what I wanted to work with and at what level. After twenty years of working - starting at the very bottom - looooong hours from 7:30 in the morning until after 11 many nights and then making my way up to the very top. Yet, now that I have what I want I wouldn't mind working in an office again. And I'm sure that if I did - six months later I'd want to go back to this! Grass is always greener.

But I digress...and I have miles to go before I sleep...


  1. The grass is always greener but it sounds like you have managed to find a wonderful balance. Enjoy it!

  2. Cor, your life sounds pretty darn fab. Reading for a job sounds my idea of heaven.


  3. It's wonderful to have reached the stage where you can work from home, thus being able to spend time with your children, as well as doing a job you enjoy. Perfect!

  4. Spencer - thank you! I really do love it.

    Lou - Not everything I read is great - in fact most of the stuff I read it dreadful. I consider myself the first defense in publishing. I read all the awful stuff so you don't have to!

    Ayak - it is wonderful!

  5. Sounds like it was a good day out and that you will be busy for a while!
    Put a shed in the garden as your office and get the best of both worlds, office and working from home. You can become a 'sheddy'. Happy reading.

  6. Greenwich and Blackheath are really wonderful areas. And they are still London - they have London postcodes! I live nearby. Too many Americans are North London fixated, especially the NW3/NW8/NW1 areas.


Go ahead, make my day!