Opening Plenary 2: Mary-Jo Putney – Keynote address

Known for writing on controversial subjects.  In 2014 got the Nora Roberts lifetime achievement award.

Writing conventions – a group of introverts pretending to be extroverts for a weekend who collapse in a heap when they get home.

Thanks to conferences and the internet, writing is not the isolated experience it once was.

Creativity and passion come first.

We write because it is primarily who is a type of therapy for us

Writing is hard, but sometimes it is fun – should bring joy which is not the same as fun.

Passion and obsessive compulsion are pretty much the same thing.

It takes imagination to be a good reader.

Finishes books not because she is disciplined but because she is driven (says she has the moral fibre of an amoeba).

Passion, not reason, that gets a book finished.

Most start writing to see what we can do with the stories buzzing around our head.

‘it amazes me to think that people used to write books with feathers.  Now THAT is passion’.


Amateur – comes from latin Amo (I live)

Serious wisdom:  lower your standards.

  • It doesn’t exist unless it comes out of your head and onto the page
  • don’t need to get it perfect the first time
  • Perfection can delay your work to the point of paralysis
  • Then polish, embellish, strip down but be prepared to let it go.

The stories we need to tell are the stories in our heart.

Honour the muse but find a balance.

Falling is part of the process as long as you get back up and dust yourself off.

As long as you honour the muse and feel the joy, the writing will never let you down.

Your thoughts and stuff

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: