SCBWI Summer Conference Recap, Part 2

I’m spending the next week or reviewing my notes from the SCBWI Summer Conference. As I stated in my previous post, I took a notebook’s worth of notes, but out of respect for the SCBWI, I’m only sharing the highlights from the sessions here.

Today’s lineup: Laurie Halse Anderson and Emma Dryden.

From Laurie Halse Anderson’s breakout session, ” The Nuts and Bolts of Crafting a Creative Life: Finding Lost Time and Reclaiming Creativity”:

  • 24 hours a day is more than enough time to meet the demands of life and do your creative work
  • The universe wants you to be creative
  • Change causes discomfort, but discomfort won’t kill you
  • You have the intelligence and desire to regain your creativity and lost time; it’s just scary to do so
  • You have more control over how you spend your precious time and energy than you want to admit

Laurie pulled no punches in this session. She made it clear what a person must be willing to do to lead a creative life. She dispelled the myths writers buy into that keep us from believing we can do this writing thing. And she provided examples and exercises for determining what we each need to change to reclaim our time and creativity. Her number one message for creative people was to turn off the internet and television. Make that sacrifice for the sake of your creativity. She encouraged writers to feast on art and protect our work spaces. She also warned against self-sabotage, quoting Faulkner: “Don’t be a writer. Be writing.”

From Emma Dryden’s “Traveling Through the Digital Landscape: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Headed”:

Emma gave a detailed and comprehensive history of how technology has impacted the publishing industry. She laid all of the events out for everyone to see, from the unveiling of the first Kindle to the demise of Borders. She explained how each event affected the industry, providing statistics and facts. It was eye-opening and (I thought) refreshing to have someone talk open and honestly about the big ol’ digital elephant in the room.

Some points I found particularly interesting and worth noting include:

  • Story still and always will matter most
  • Ebooks are expanding the marketplace
  • If the enhancements in an enhanced ebook don’t really enhance the experience, then they’re not worth the investment
  • Authors must negotiate their digital rights
  • It pays to be flexible and on time in this changing landscape
  • Indie bookstores have an opportunity to reinvent themselves
  • Experimentation leads to progress
  • Consumers are demanding more choices and want more personalization and customization
  • Authors still need to write the best content possible
  • What still matters as the landscape changes: literacy, imagination, human connection

More highlights on Friday. 🙂