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...

6 comments:

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

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

    Lou

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  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!

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  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!

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  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.

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  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.

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Go ahead, make my day!