Joanne and I spent a few days in New York for Thrillerfest XI … or I should say that I spent a few days at Thrillerfest and she spent a few days exploring the city. She has been there many more times than I have and is always trying to surprise herself with a new neighborhood.
One new place we enjoyed was the Morgan Library and Museum, where I found a small but fascinating display about J.P. Morgan’s life. He was something like the Bill Gates of his day, enormously wealthy, but a dedicated patron of the arts. Morgan died in 1913 while traveling overseas, so this museum (and Morgan bank!) may be his greatest legacy. I think I could have spent all night just gliding up and down in the glass elevators!
Oh, but what about Thrillerfest, you say? Once again, it was a gathering of some amazing writers who were good enough to share their insights into the craft.
I did take part in a panel on time management for writers. In other words, how do we get our writing done? Almost every writer had a different answer, and yet in so many words they gave the same answer—determination. Day by day, the pages pile up.
One of the craft books I mentioned as part of the panel was Stephen Pressfield’s excellent THE WAR OF ART, which is all about owning your creative project. He writes about how this force called “resistance” works to prevent us from completing our work. Once you acknowledge the existence of this force, it is much easier to overcome.
My own determination story that I shared was about REBEL TRAIN. I wrote that one working almost exclusively between midnight and 2 a.m., writing in longhand on legal pads, because it was literally the only free time I had to write due to work and baby schedules. Take that, Resistance!
I had a chance to meet some fellow writers and writers in progress. And thanks to the many panels and interviews (with the likes of Lee Child, David Morrell, Gillian Flynn, and C.J. Box, to name a few) I always return to writing feeling energized and reassured that others are out there pursuing this same crazy business of putting stories on the page.