It has been a while since I’ve posted and I have some exciting writing news to share. One of the reasons I took a pause from writing posts is because I was preparing for the Harvard Writers Conference: Achieving Healthcare Leadership and Outcomes through Writing and Publishing held in Boston mid-March. The conference is fantastic for any healthcare professional interested in writing. I attended for two reasons: first, to accrue continuing education hours needed to renew my license and second, to pitch my book to a panel of editors and agents who specifically represent healthcare professionals interested in writing medical, self-help and memoir. The inset picture is the conference room and way up at the front is the podium where I pitched my book.
The back story to my writing is this; five years ago, when my fourth daughter had turned one, I felt myself slowly sinking into the demands of caring for my family and working, reacting to one demand in front of me to the next. I was also slightly over a year from turning forty. The juxtaposition of these two realizations brought me to a place of awareness ; I needed to stop, reflect and find a deeper and meaningful way to show up in the world and I wanted to prepare myself to embrace fully turning 40 with excitement and enthusiasm versus dread and freaking out. So that summer I embarked on reading an amazing book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It is a self-guided twelve-week course to rediscovering one’s creativity. I consider this book a cognitive-behavioral self-help guide for artists, it’s fantastic.
As I started to work through the book, I began to reconnect with my love of writing and realized the childhood dream to write went into a box and placed on a shelf, because of messages I internalized about writing. Some statements included: “It’s hard to make money as a writer” and “Choose a more stable career,” and, my favorite from one teacher, “Claire, you’re not a good writer, chose another field.” The book and the exercises within helped me to reconnect with something I knew as young as nine, I wanted to be a writer.
Once I reconnected with my desire to pursue writing, I found deep inner peace and affirmation; I am a writer at heart, and it is my life’s calling and purpose to write, amongst other roles. Since that summer five years ago, I have persistently taken risks, putting myself and my writing out in the world, with success and rejection, both significant parts of the process.
Which brings me to this conference, where I pitched my book, the one I started writing last April. I completed a first draft of the manuscript in early March of this year. At the same time I began to work on my book proposal, a business plan for selling your book, it’s a tedious but necessary process. At the conference, during selected times, attendees are called randomly to stand at the podium, as seen in the picture above, and give a 70-second summary and pitch of one’s book. There is a panel of editors and agents, who then write and provide feedback on your pitch, and over 200 attendees who watch the pitches. To say I was nervous was an understatement. When I was finally called, I shared my pitch and the seventy seconds felt more like fifteen, it went fast! And here is the exciting news, several agents and editors were interested in my book and had asked to see the proposal. Which means, I am one step closer in the long journey and process of sharing my book with the world.
A bonus of the conference was networking with other medical professionals and developing new writing projects and endeavors. Which brings me to this website, where I will be making some really cool additions over the next several months that I can’t wait to share! I also can’t wait to give updates about my book, and, I will be back on track with regular posting again!
© Copyright Dr. Claire Nicogossian 2016