Chap is constantly amazed that people actually pay me to speak about writing, life, love and the occasional dead body. Frankly, it kind of amazes me, too. And there are many times I believe Chap would pay to get me to shut up.
But getting paid to speak is just one of a number of new, inventive ways to make a living, some of which might make you shake your head and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
My very favorite divorce attorney has started a business as a “Life Coach,” which means she tells people what to do and gets paid for it. Hey, I do that for free. As the oldest child in my family, I’ve been doing that since my little sister was born. I was the Dear Abby of my 4th Grade Class.
Never the less, I do get invited to speak, teach and moderate conferences, which is what I did this weekend at the Writers’ League of Texas Agents Conference. The coolest thing about this kind of speaking engagement, is that I learn new and inventive ways to foist my fiction, random thoughts and insights on life on unsuspecting bystanders.
I moderated a panel on building a successful platform with Justin Manask, a ridiculously successful literary manager who is the darling of Hollywood, Jay Ehret and Thomas Umstaddt Jr., two talented, funny, un-geeklike techno-geeks who gave us a rundown everything we’ve been doing wrong online, offline and in the privacy of our own homes, and gave us a roadmap on how to get our online acts together–which I am currently trying to implement, but am having multiple blonde moments, and have completely alienated my computer, that has now apparently given up all hope and is currently typing up it’s own letter of resignation.
I also gave some private pitch consultations–which I am happy to report that each person I helped craft, hone and revamp their pitch got asked to submit a manuscript–a major coup in the world of publishing.
Multi-tasking wonder woman Cyndi Hughes–WLT director, and I are going to have a chat about a free online workshop on pitches and query letters–so be on the lookout for that–details to come very soon.
I’ll be blogging this week about what I learned at the conference–so look for pretty cool, cutting edge stuff!
I had a ball, and was compensated inkind by getting to attend conference workshops (never, ever give up an opportunity to learn), attending the private author/agent party at uber-agent Jim Hornfischer’s house, and to see writer pals I haven’t seen in a long, long time.
I had a beer-break with my friend and one of the very coolest authors (and people) I know, Evelyn Palfrey and we caught up on her very funny stories about courtroom drama, and the even more hilarious drama going on as her aging mother has come to live with her. Evelyn gave me some of the very best I’ve ever been given when I was just starting out as an author–learn everything you can, and put yourself in the path of opportunity. How brilliant was that?
I am still decompressing, debriefing , and figuring out how best to implement these brilliant gems of information, regarding revamping my website, my blog and everything else I thought I knew, but obviously don’t.
When I came home, I was exhausted, and then had the daunting task of trying to explain to Chap why I was so worn out, and how spending emotional energy can be exhausting, and how I could be so super-charged with ideas, yet so spent.
In light of the fact that he had dug a new trench in granite gravel for a new waterline, moved a double-side refrigerator from the laundry room to his dad’s house and installed a humongous freezer in its stead, I decided not to argue my point.
His kind of hard work is far different from mine.
And I am glad for that.