The 2019 SF Writers Conference is an Amazing Success

I spent the last four days at the San Francisco Writers Conference meeting other writers, literary agents, editors, publishers, and motivational coaches. They all share the same passion I do. Storytelling!

I’m happy to report there’s high interest in the story of Ferrari of Los Gatos, and we’re making good progress getting it to print.

Experts presenting information on self-publishing, book promotion, platform building, social media, audio books, podcasting, and author websites were at the conference. The conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero across the street from the Ferry Building and provided lots of great places to visit and eat, not to mention incredible views of the San Francisco Bay and the Oakland-Bay Bridge.

Eliminating Anxiety will Bring You Success

Keynote speaker Jane Friedman is Former editor-in-chief of Writers Digest and author of The Business of Being a Writer and Publishing 101. Her work has been featured on NPR, PBS, CBS, The Washington Post, and the National Press Club. As an expert on how the digital age is transforming writing careers, publishing, and storytelling, Jane explained how anxiety relates to accomplishing goals.

Jane mentioned a couple of anxieties that apply to anyone, not just writers.

For example, take age anxiety. Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m just too old, or too young, to do that?” Her answer, “Success can happen at any age. Focus on the work, not your age. After all, there’s nothing you can do about age—it is what it is.”

And what about status anxiety? No matter what we do, it’s inevitable there will be times of rejection. At times the no’s are disruptive, painful, and seemingly unbearable. Jane’s advice, “Stay the course. Find out where you work best (time and place), and get laser focused.”

Jane closed by reminding us some advice can be dangerous.

ABSENCE OF FEAR: Scans compare Honnold’s brain (left) with a control subject’s (right), a rock climber of a similar age.

Brains are wired differently, so what one person can accomplish may not be possible for others. For more information on that, check out the story of Alex Honnold, the first and only rock climber to free solo (no ropes or other safety gear) El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Crosshairs on the scans to the right mark the amygdala, a group of nuclei involved in generating fear. As both climbers look at the same arousing images, the control subject’s amygdala glows, while Honnold’s remains inert, showing no activity whatsoever. His brain allows him to remain calm when most of us would be freaking out.

Guess that’s why he’s a one and only.

Jose Antonio Vargas and a Fascinating Illegal Alien Story

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and founder/CEO of Define American, the nation’s leading nonprofit media & culture organization that fights injustice and anti-immigrant hate through the power of storytelling. He is also the author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen.

Jose told his story of coming to the United States when 12 years old, and many of the issues he’s faced. While still not a US Citizen, the Mt. View, California school district has started construction on a new elementary school in Mt. View, California. They’ve decided to name the school, Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary School.

Jose started his talk by saying, “When I came to this country all I asked for was a green card, now they’re naming an elementary school after me—go figure.”

I learned a lot from Jose’s talk and took away a couple of quotes that can apply to all walks of life. He reminded everyone, “You don’t know everything, and you never will. Keep learning more.”

When he spoke of the many obstacles he faces each day as an illegal alien, he attributed his success to the motto, “Open windows when doors are closed.”

I’m looking forward to applying the things I learned to complete and publish the story of Ferrari of Los Gatos. Look for it later this year.

If you have comments or a story about a Ferrari, or any other classic car story, please share it with us here. Be sure to attach photos as well.

Photo:  SF Writers Conference
Photo:  Jane Joseph /

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2 thoughts on “The 2019 SF Writers Conference is an Amazing Success

  1. Really enjoy your stories about FLG. Saw a picture you posted of a license plate frame with Los Gatos Ferrari on it. I’ve seen some on eBay that have a black background. The one you picture has a red background. Do you know which is correct? My car was first purchased at FLG so I’m thinking of getting one. Thanks.

    Ric Aylor

    • Hi Ric,
      Thanks for your message. I checked with Brian Burnett, one of the owners of Ferrari of Los Gatos at the time and he tells me they had both black and red frames. I guess it’s up to you, either one would be official.