Friday, September 27, 2013

Connection is Critical


After attending a recent conference, I thought about the importance of being about to communicate with various types of people. With some preparation, we who are introverts can be ready to chat.

I spent four years while in my late teens to early twenties, as a secretary at a major university. I was shy and na├»ve and being around professors and their wives, especially at social events for the department, brought me much angst. One trick I learned was to stand beside one of the professor’s wives, who was a great

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Importance of Writers Conferences




I have attended over 25 writers conferences. I always consider them essential to my growth as a writer. But, sometimes I forget just how much I enjoy them and can benefit from attending. Last week I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference, which was held, this year, in Indianapolis. I left exhilarated and ready to work toward my goal of finishing one of two novels I started a few years ago.

 

Here are five reasons, I was reminded of again last week, why writers conferences can be game changers:

 

1.  You learn about what is happening in the industry.

 

2.  You attend workshops taught by published authors and hear new approaches to common problems.

 

3.  You see published writers attend workshops and take notes and are impressed with their commitment to learn. In turn you want to learn.

 

4.  You realize that all writers struggle with their work and know you are not alone.

 

5.  Oh, there is always lots of coffee!!!

 

 

How about you? Are writers conferences
important to you?

 

 



Friday, September 6, 2013

Writers' Conferences: Prepare, but Don't Forget to Enjoy


 
Three months have passed since the Write-to-PublishConference where I have the opportunity to teach and encourage writers, who also encourage me.

Now, I find myself getting ready for another conference (American Christian Fiction Writers). Since I am not a part of the staff, I feel more relaxed and have different goals. At WTP, I focused on seeing that attendees had the necessary information to navigate and benefit from the conference. This conference is for me to listen and learn and meet other writers.

If you are planning to attend an upcoming conference, here are some things you might consider:

 

1.  Rest before you go. Try to get some sleep at home before you leave. I will be driving for a few hours, which adds to the fatigue for me, in addition to the hectic schedule of a conference.

 

2.  Set goals. Do you want to concentrate on the classes or seek out times to network with others? There may be the opportunity to purchase recordings of the classes, thus freeing up time to attend some of the gatherings to meet other writers.



Odds are, as a writer, you are probably an introvert, as are many others attending. Decide before you go that you are going to step out and meet other writers. Once you do it, it will become easier.


3.  Check availability of a photographer. There may be a conference photographer taking head shots for business cards and social media, etc. The cost is usually quite reasonable when a photographer has access to a larger number of clients at one time.
 

 

4.  Set a budget for books. Most conferences will set up a conference bookstore. As a writer, you will probably be overwhelmed at the options. Set an amount you will spend before you go.

 

5.  Travel light. This goes not just for travel, but for what you carry while attending the actual conference. Consider whether you will want to take a laptop computer. If your computer is not small or lightweight, it may physically weigh you down. If you take it, and find it is too heavy, then you may be forced to leave it in your room, and you have to decide if you are comfortable with that. I find an old-fashioned pen and notebook works the best.

 

6.  Relax and Enjoy. Don’t try to put too much pressure on yourself. It is one conference and there will be more. At each conference you will meet new people who will help you along your road to publication.  

 

How about you? What is one thing you consider before attending a writers' conference.