Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Inspiration Wednesday: Library of Virginia Literary Awards

Sorry to move Inspiration Monday to Inspiration Wednesday this week, but I've been a bit busy in all areas of life this month. It seems like everything came due at once. I'm hoping to have a chance to breathe a bit next week. Until then, I'll keep on at a breakneck pace and see how much I can get done! Enough about that though and on to the inspiration....

I usually focus on art as inspiration, but this week I was inspired by writers: novelists, non-fiction writers, and poets. As you may remember from an earlier blog post, I am a writer myself and my book, Lost Communities of Virginia, was up for a Library of Virginia People's Choice Award. Saturday was the big day when all of the Literary Award finalists were honored at a luncheon and the winners were announced at a dinner.

First the big news: I won! My book won the People's Choice Award for Non-Fiction! Woo hoo! While that was certainly inspirational, it's not my inspiration for today. It was meeting the other fiction, non-fiction, and poetry finalists. It was meeting writers hoping for their first big break at the luncheon that we shared with the James River Writer's Conference. It was meeting big name authors like David Baldacci, Adriana Trigiani, and Tom Robbins. It was hearing the other winner's acceptance speeches.

Mostly though, it was hearing Tom Robbins talk about writing. He talked about how a sentence should sound good as well as read well. He talked about his writing process: he spends hours on a single sentence and doesn't go on to the next until he is happy with the words he has chosen. Rather than puzzling over many drafts of a book, he writes a single draft, but that draft takes 3 or 4 years to write. He said that if you don't enjoy what you are writing and the story you are telling, you shouldn't be writing. He said to write for yourself and not for the money. His spoken sentences were colorful. He was inspirational. He made me want to write the novel I started in a class a few years ago!

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