February 27, 2019
by Charlie Monte Verde
If you're reading this, then you need to join us March 16 and 17 for CWA's second annual writers conference. Even if you're already registered for the event, we hope you give this piece a couple minutes of your time. You clicked on the link to this article knowing that you'd be giving us your time. There is no greater asset than time. Everything else of value—money, relationships, joy--are dependent upon it.
Estimate how much time you spend across a year on writing. Let's use a window of between 300 and 800 hours. What's the lost value of that time—the average equivalent of almost 14 40-hour work weeks—if all of your efforts are missing integral skill-set elements of the craft?
We'd be thinking too little of you if we thought we could convince you that everything you hear at the CWA conference will be something you'll take with you in your writing. Speaking for myself, I always go into this sort of shenanigans with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I probably spend more time than I care to admit (yet here's my confession in electronic ink) sitting there thinking 'I could write better'n that fool up there.' Whether or not that's true is of no matter, because I'm the one seeking answers, and they are the ones that have those answers. Still, I've found this sort of arrogance sets the table quite nicely for further honing of the craft. Because there's almost always that moment when we hear a presenter—a professional from our craft—tell us something that we already knew.
And what a rush of positive reinforcement that is!
In that instant, we're told—unequivocally—that we're in the right room and on the right track. Then that arrogance evolves into something real—confidence—and the mind is on the right setting to absorb what it really needs to absorb.
This is something of a roundabout way of emphasizing that there's something for everyone at the CWA conference. If you're already attending, really pore through the bios and portfolio of our presenters. Though the brain doesn't push old knowledge out to welcome the new, there is such a thing as too much information. Then, if you come out of the conference with "only" two breakthrough concepts, the whole event will have been worth our efforts in putting it together for you and—significantly more importantly— it will have been worth your time. Your most valuable asset.
C. D. (Charlie) Monte Verde always wanted to live in one of the ‘big three’ cities, and darn if he didn’t land in the best one. C. D. was raised in Upstate New York before his current seven years in Chicago, and honed his writing skills in Mrs. Bonar’s AP English class before he was bumped down to the regular English class.
As founder of the Cult of AMERICANA and EDO Trains brands, C. D. willingly and fully disappears into art, often at the expense of his reality. He’s currently working on his first based-on-a-true-story novel which will be available…hopefully someday.
His day job is in the railroad industry. He is a board member of the Chicago Writers Association.
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