Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Lessons Learned from My First Writer's Conference - Part 2
In last Wednesday's post, Lessons Learned From My First Writer's Conference - Part 1, I shared with you that the publishing industry is totally subjective, something that you may or may not have already known.
I'd also like to share is that it is really helpful to decide what exactly you want to get out of the conference before you go. Are you wanting to learn more about the craft of writing? Do you want to learn more about the publishing process? Do you want to gain a better understanding of the legal aspects of the business? Do you need to be inspired by other authors who have already established themselves?
I was completely torn when it came to the course offerings. There were one or two classes that I KNEW I wanted to take, so I did. As for the others, I was a little bit lost. I made the mistake of not really honing in on what I wanted to learn from the courses they offered, so I don't think I truly maximized my experience in that way.
I did, however, take advantage of the opportunity to network with other writers, which I feel like was the most rewarding experience. The writing community is incredibly supportive (which I already know because of so many of YOU!), but I was really struck by the unspoken bond between myself and all of these complete strangers. I met a few people (the lovely Angie Mizzell, for one) who I know are going to do great things, and it totally energized me.
I also took it upon myself to get in front of agents and editors that I really wanted to meet. On that note, I have to admit that my first "meeting" with the lovely Rachelle Gardner was...in the bathroom! Now, I know you've heard the horror stories from agents about being pitched to in the bathroom, and I was WELL AWARE of that major faux pas, I assure you. I did not do that. What I did, however, was giggle when she came out of the stall...purely from the irony of it all. I'm sure she thought, "Who is this weird chick laughing to herself in the bathroom?" But I actually made a joke of it and told her I was absolutely NOT pitching to her in the bathroom. And you know what? She laughed. Who knew? AGENTS ARE REAL PEOPLE TOO!
Have you been to a conference? What lesson did you learn? Were you able to get what you wanted out of it?