My Weekend with Hallie Ephron
by Robert J. Daniher
There’s always a reason to celebrate your writing no matter what stage it’s in. Whether a first chapter, first draft or first publication. I learned this a few weeks ago at the annual weekend Deadly Ink Mystery Conference in Parsippany NJ. Three fun-filled days of murder and mayhem with mystery authors and fans of all sub-genres. The guest of honor this year was Gillian Roberts who I discovered was a truly gracious person. She spoke so eloquently about writing and I was also fortunate enough to chat with her later one evening in the lounge with several other authors.
However, the person I chatted with the most was Hallie Ephron, author of Never Tell A Lie. Her book was a nominee (and winner) of the Conference Award for Best Novel of 2009, The David. For those of you who don’t know, Hallie is one in a long line of talented writers. Her parents Henry and Phoebe Ephron wrote classic screenplays such as: Desk Set and Carousel. And her sisters Nora, Delia and Amy are all notable writers as well. I made a point of not gushing about her literary lineage because I’m sure she gets that all the time. Besides, being the mystery fan and writer myself, I was more interested in talking craft with her. She writes suspense thrillers along with books on craft. I attended a seminar she gave at the conference on building suspense. But, as fate would have it we kept bumping into each other all weekend. I sat next to her at almost every meal. It was amazing how warm and open she was in sharing writing tips and advice to an aspiring writer.
One thing she shared with me in particular was the importance of celebrating. When I told her of my forthcoming (and first) paid publication in the October 2010 Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine she couldn’t have been more supportive. “You have to celebrate”, she said. She continued that every moment should be a cause for celebration. I think that’s a great lesson to learn.
It’s very easy to give up when your writing feels likes it’s not working out. So it’s important to make a point of celebrating every tiny accomplishment, no matter how small. Each scene, each chapter, each manuscript are all milestones to celebrate. Writing is full of rejection and self doubt. Celebrating keeps you positive and keeps things in perspective. So the next time you finish a short story or a poem and think, “boy that sucks” celebrate it anyway because at least you wrote. And that’s an accomplishment in itself.
Related Posts: Read Bob's other posts on this blog.
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