I recently attended the LDStorymakers Writers Conference, and had a great experience. Three days of thinking about nothing but writing. I participated in Boot Camp (a way for new and improving writers to hone their craft with other writers critiquing their work) as an instructor. That is the second year in a row that I have done so, and I have loved it! I plan on participating again next year.
I also attended some fantastically good presentations. My favorites were from Sandra Tayler, Clint Johnson, Tristi Pinkston, and Tracy and Laura Hickman. What great classes!
But of all the things I experienced this last weekend, one thing stands out the most: I learned something about myself that I don’t like.
Sometimes I have pre-judged people. And I am not going to give any names, but there was a person, a fellow author, who I knew (by name, by sight) from previous conferences, that I never bothered to get to know because I figured they wrote books that I wouldn’t care for. And they seemed a little bit strange anyway. And I thought their fans were strange too.
My realization: I am a foolish man, languishing in a thoughtless stupor.
Yeah. I called myself an idiot. Not because of what I did, but because of what I did NOT do. I should have introduced myself to them a LONG time ago. I should have gotten to know them.
You know what? I discovered that not only are they very articulate, but they are a lot more like me than I ever would have dreamed. And I also discovered that I really like them. I have become part of their fan club.
That is not the first time I have almost packed C-4 explosives around a door of opportunity and blown it sky-high. I think back on those types of experiences in my past, and wonder: What would have happened if I had not given up my preconceived prejudices about them?
Uh . . . My life would be very different now. Some of my best friends today are people who I basically ignored when we first met, years ago.
How about you? Have you ever met someone and not liked them at first, and then later, really gotten to know them? And then become close friends? And then had the horrible realization that you ALMOST passed up a wonderful opportunity? Didn’t it make you sick to your stomach to even think about it?
Yeah. I thought you would understand.