Friday, January 25, 2008

Writing Conferences: The Reasons Why

I'm going to a writers conference next week--and I'm not pitching a single book idea or magazine article.

Waste of time, right?

Obviously, I don't think so.

I'm packing my bags and spending two glorious nights at the Broadmoor Hotel with my writing comrades Tiffany and Scoti. I'm going to attend some workshops--although I haven't decided which ones yet. And I'm going to take part in a book signing--signing my book, no less! And I have no business pitching anything right now because I'm too busy getting ready to speak at Hearts at Home in March!

There are lots of reasons to attend a writers conference besides pitching your Great American Novel:

  • Discover if you're meant to be a writer. Go and absorb the ambience of the writing world. Ask questions. When asked, "Why are you here?" admit you don't know. Maybe something someone else says will help you figure out your direction along the writing road.

  • Enjoy the workshops. If you're a dyed-in-the-wool non-fiction writer, dabble in fiction. Take a workshop on blogging and set up a blog--finally! Soak up the knowledge of others who are farther along the writing road than you are. You'll come away motivated.

  • Go ahead--make an appointment with an editor or an agent. They don't bite. Okay, I've heard of one or two who were a bit cranky, but aren't you ever cranky? Treat an editor nicely and I'll bet they treat you the same way. If you only have a book idea, than ask her what she thinks of your idea. Ask a magazine editor what he's looking for.

  • Make new friends. There are lots of fun people at a writers conference. Lots. Don't make it all about you. Ask everyone you meet, "Why are you here?" and "What are you writing?"--and then listen to their answers. Get business cards. Network. Make friends.

Anybody made any plans to attend any conferences in 2008? Do tell!

(All comments until January 31st are included in our two giveaways, click here for details.)

1 comment:

Heather said...

Hi Beth,
Ooh that writing conference sounds so fun. I hope you have a great and creatively relaxing time. :) It looks like a wonderful time. Maybe in a few years I'll be able to go to somethingn like that to check it out.