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Your Story Matters

Writer Years Are Like Dog Years

This weekend I head to HippoCamp, a fantastic conference for creative nonfiction writers in Lancaster PA, which happens to be where I now live.

So convenient!

I attended my first HippoCamp four years ago. Four years that have gone by in a flash and at the same time feel like a lifetime ago.

Is that what time feels like for dogs? I've often wondered, being a new-ish dog mom to Lucy, my 9 lb. chihuahua mix. But I digress ...

When I walked into the Lancaster Marriott for HippoCamp 2018, I was just on the other side of a couple of very difficult years navigating coming out as LGBTQ+ and a divorce resulting from that coming out decision. 

I had been furiously writing since coming out, trying to make sense of the life-changing experience I was going through. What was it really about? Why had I made the choices I'd made? Why would anyone care about my story?

I was definitely in "1st Draft Mode"—writing to understand what I was writing...

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Writers Need Community

Writing is solitary and it can be lonely. You spend lots of time in your head, perhaps wondering if anyone will even care.

While you are the only person who can put your butt in the chair and get your words on the page, your writing life will improve if you can find your people.

This is Step 3 of The 4-Step Solution to Getting Your Nonfiction Book Out of Your Head and onto the Page: Seeking Out Community.

Find your people

Here are some ways I have found my people:

Writers Conferences: In-person writers' conferences have been a huge source of writing community for me. Of course, they are mostly on hold now due to COVID-19, but when they return (and they will!), find one that speaks to your writing interests and fits your budget. When I was just starting out as a memoir writer, I attended the Southampton Writers Conference where I workshopped with luminaries such as Mary Karr and Roger Rosenblatt. As awesome as those experiences were, what was even more valuable were the...

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