I'm just like Tolkien, Hemingway, and King...

. . . Well maybe not quite. But at least I've found out that my writing brothers and I are not so different after all.

Last week I attended the 87th annual CAA Writers Conference in Edmonton. It was definitely a pleasant eye opener for me. Going into it I was feeling very intimidated and also a little worried. From some of the focus activities and lectures that were going to be presented and from some pictures posted on their website from previous conferences, I thought #1, I was going to be the pathetic wannabe in the group, and #2, I was going to be the only male attending.

Well luckily I wasn't the greenest one there and thankfully I was one of seven guys who attended. Hey, being outnumbered 30:1, women to men, really isn't that terrible to deal with.

What really resonated the most in me, was that all writers are, or have been scared at some point. One way or another everyone of us - aspiring or not - have had doubts and fears and questioned our abilities and at some point were afraid of even writing at all, because of baseless worries that our stories wouldn't be good enough.

I should probably amend my title above, as I haven't actually spoken to Tolkien, Hemingway, or King lately to confirm whether or not they indeed felt this way. The conference was a Canadian conference and only focused on well known Canadian authors. But I would have to assume that all authors around the world must have - at some point - had many doubts of some kind.

So what did I get out of the conference in the end? I guess it would be to 'Just Write'. If it's something you want to do or explore, then you have to start somewhere. The keynote speaker - who himself has had 14 of his books published - said he knew several friends that were much better writers than he, who were bankers and dentists and teachers, but who never had anything published. Why? Because they never had the courage to put their ideas down on paper. Period.

So let's not worry so much and just write, okay. What's the worst that can happen? Well, not having anyone like our stories I guess, but don't think about that! If you love them and your family loves them, then your golden.

And to the comment regarding my little excerpt from my story I recently posted, no it was not based on a personal experience. It's all imagination. I hope I never experience anything like that ever. The cool thing is what appears to have happened to the boy isn't exactly what has really happened. Maybe you'll get another piece of the puzzle later. Maybe.

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