Wednesday 15 May 2013

Lincoln Inspired!

by Addy Farmer

Writing is an act of faith in yourself, in the others you count on to support you and in the publisher who'll eventually provide you with a happy ending. Sometimes it's hard to maintain that faith and doubts slink in - my story is wafflingbadly/toomanywords/toofewwords/notenoughdragons - that sort of thing. It gets tough.
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. Ernest Hemingway
Cheery stuff but sometimes it might feel that way. So on this midweek morning I'm reminding you, dear slushpiler, that you are not alone and that you can become perky again just by getting out once in a while - meeting those publishers, having fun with your writing and communing with those all-important writing pals. This weekend Lincoln Inspired did all these things. It was a community crowd-funded festival and wonderfully inspiring.

Cheer up, sausage and go to a festival!
Sometimes you have to work at inspiration, sweat a bit even. Sometimes you have to find the right place at the right time with the right people. Then again sometimes it's easy because all of those things come together.
I kicked off the day doing 1-2-1s with pre-published children's writers. We chatted through their writing dilemmas and I think it fair to say that I was in some sort of near-heaven where the only thing I had to think about was writing, writing and more writing. Okay, it wasn't my own writing which would be actual heaven but we'll get to that later.

Big head at The Drill Hall in Lincoln - one of the venues for Lincoln Inspired.

Then, because I was late through too much talking, I had to walk very fast up Steep Hill in Lincoln (yes, the name is apt) to get to the next event, Inspiration through Artefacts. This was at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life and led by SCBWI member and museum curator, Debbie Holt.

Debbie and Alan ready to inspire

There were so many stories to be told. We looked and we touched (yes, we were allowed to touch - Debbie said so) and we thought and we wrote as the moo took us.

Children can make playthings out of just about anything...

It just takes a bit of imagination.
 A tea-trainer sparked a memory of drinking tea on holiday picnics at the seaside and how good it tasted and how it just wasn't the same at home.
From imagining stories to having them published. Emily Thomas, publisher at Hot Key Books came with those all-important insider insights.
You can't see their faces but all these people are smiling as they soak up Hot Key's zinging fresh list
The lovely Emily Thomas brings Hot Key Books to Lincoln
I'll return to Hot Key with a further blog soon ...

There was more and more inspiration with the Sunday Scrawl Crawl. It was led by SCBWI member and illustrator, Katherine Lynas. I cannot draw for toffee but I took my camera and found death and battle and honour and light and dark - all stories for the taking.
Debz, Katherine and Hazel getting ready to scrawl at The Collection in Lincoln

Don't listen to the doubters ...

and don't look so worried ...

You can do it ...
With a little help and inspiration from your friends. So, happy Wednesday after a wonderful weekend and here's to finding your story.

A truly awful photo of some truly inspirational people


  1. Wonderful! Wonderful! Sometimes being so focused and determined sucks you into a vacuum which in turn sucks you of all creativity. This is just the tonic. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It was a really inspiring weekend for me too. The chance to meet and talk with other people who want to write is priceless. A really big thanks to Addy Farmer for doing what she is so good - being so organised and encouraging.

    1. Gill Hutchison15 May 2013 at 10:28

      I'll second that, Debz - and thanks to you to for your "Artefacts" presentations. Aleways inspiring.

    2. Yes, I love the hands on inspiration which can take you in so many directions - thanks, Debz!

  3. Gill Hutchison15 May 2013 at 10:26

    I could only experience a small part of the weekend this time, but what I took away from it was the shared experience and the level of support you only feel from being around like-minded people who start off as rather nice acquaintances and finish as your good friends.

  4. I was so disappointed to have missed these events Addy so thank you for bringing them to life here. Great pictures too - even the 'truly awful' one is spookily inspirational!

    1. I should have photo-shopped your head into it, Liz!

    2. Ooh yes you could have dangled it in and made it really ghostly!

  5. Just off to bleed in my writing caravan, so thanks, Addy, for the reminder that SCBWI-Slushpilers aren't ever truly alone.

    1. Bleed gently, Rowena House.

    2. Wow - you have a writing caravan! I have a vision of a Romany one with a horse and everything. Thanks for reading and try not to bleed all over the caravan.

  6. Lovely lively and apt ... sounds like an inspirational weekend in the "wish I was there" way - typically wonderfully encapsulated. And yes, no one should give up and feel alone, because you are not!

    1. Thanks, Beverley! I also remember when you and Catherine Came up to see us in Lincoln and what fun that was.I wish you the very best with your festival in June -

  7. One word: jealous!
    Sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing :0)

  8. Brilliant post Addy - and just the tonic I needed to start me on new beginnings! :)

    1. Excellent, Christina! Very best with all those beginning s and middles and endings as well.


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