Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Things That Make You Go Hmmm"*

I went to L.A. for a writing conference, so I basically spent four days listening to speeches and attending sessions about writing. (Fear not nonwriters--this post won't strictly be about writing.) I took a ton of notes and observed many little gems of wisdom.

I was frantically trying to record everything, but I wasn't quick enough to always get direct quotations. Some of these may be actual quotations, but more likely I've paraphrased them. Still, I've cited the speaker and talk in which each was written.

Here are some gems that I think not only apply to writing, but can also be useful in everyday life:

  • Open your ears, mind, and heart
  • Be bolder in what you do
  • Celebrate everyday joys
  • Joy is free
  • Celebrate laughter as the highest human action

Bruce Coville (from his speech "The Art of the Heart: Writing True for the Child")

  • There are no rules--just whatever you are doing has to work

Mark Teague (from his speech "My 20 Years in Children's Books: A Survivor's Tale")

  • You will go in the direction you are looking

Margaret Peterson Haddix (from her speech "Dig In"--this was advice from her ski instructor, which just goes to show how universal these thoughts are)

  • Stories have such power in the world, even when they're only about the death of a certain kind of story

Arthur Levine (from his speech "Picture Books Live! An Analysis of Success")

  • Spending a lot of money doesn't always mean making a lot of money

Elizabeth Law (from a panel discussion called "Today in Children's Publishing")

These don't even take us halfway through the conference, so I'm sure I'll have more once I finish transcribing my notes. Besides, I think that's enough to contemplate for one day!

*C+C Music Factory