I got to spend just about two days indulging in speculative fiction writing goodness at the Mariott Hotel in downtown Portland.

Lots of the things said in panels I went to wasn’t news to me…which makes me sound kind of snotty, but truly, I realized that I’m not really new to writing/publishing. My first story was published back in 1999, so that’s like, what, 8 years?

I’d like to think I haven’t been totally clueless for those eight years.

But there were two things said at different panels that caught my attention.

#1 If you’re not writing from your heart, than you’re already writing at less skill than you’re capable of

Said by the amazing Stephen Barnes at a panel about writing art versus writing for sales. (which is not a useful dichotomy in my opinion, but okay as a starting point for panel)

#2 You need to give yourself “permission” to treat writing as a profession, one that requires your time and for you to take away time from children, husband, etc if that is your passion.

So number two gave me a lot to think about. I often have this problem of not giving myself “permission” to do writing or writing-related stuff because of child or wifely or part time job duties.

I decided this weekend that if/when I ever sell a novel, that that will be just enough external and monetary validation that I’ll be able to work part time less and ask for more time for writing.

Okay, then. There’s my goal.