Hopefully you’ve had a wonderful time at the conference and you’re pumped to start writing. That is usually how I feel after several days in that environment. This year, I have scheduled an extra day off work to catch up at home and devote a day to writing before I have to go back to the day job. It is my treat to me.
Now take a breath, unpack, and do those things you have to do after a few days away from home. Before you settle into writing, take a few minutes to evaluate your experience.
Pull out your goal sheet you prepared before the conference.
- Did you meet your goals?
- Were there some that you did not meet?
- What was the best memory?
- What did you learn?
- Do you need to follow up with a pitch session?
- What would you do differently next time?
- Would you want to attend this conference again?
Hopefully you had a wonderful experience networking and plan to keep in touch with some people you met. Might friend them on Facebook. And did you share your blog site so they can start following you there too?
Well this is the last post about conferences. I hope it helped with even one new idea.
I will be attending the Spring Fling in Chicago in April. Hopefully I will see some of you there.
Next week I will list more conferences happening in June to allow you time to sign up.
April will be all about plotting. My local chapter of RWA, Iowa Romance Novelists, will have a program “Plotting without a Net” with Leigh Michaels speaking. Leigh is a multi-published romance author who has also taught classes at the community college in Ottumwa as well as the Writer’s Workshop in Iowa City. If you live in the Des Moines area and would be interested in checking us out, we meet the third Saturday of every month at the West Des Moines Community Center on the second floor from 10:00 to 1:00. Hope to see you there.
Keep writing forward,
Storm clouds gather. What does your protagonist do?
You’re lying in a field of flowers looking up at the sky. Who are you? What are you thinking? Are you hiding? Are you in trouble?
Before you do anything, take a few minutes to think about what you want to accomplish by attending a writers conference.
- Do you want to learn more about the business of writing?
- Are you wanting to become a better writer?
- Is networking of interest?
- Are you published and want to promote your work?
- Do you just want to have some fun?
Any of these are legitimate reasons to think about attending a conference. But as you know if you have done any research, conferences are not cheap. You have your registration fees, travel and hotel expenses, meals, and who can go to a conference without buying some books? So to save yourself from signing up for the wrong conference, you will need to do some research.
Before you do that though, sit down and make some goals for what you want to get out of a conference. What are you looking for? Put it down on paper and be specific. When you get home afterwards what do you want to have achieved?
And then look for a conference that fits your needs. You might start your search online, get recommendations from friends, and if you belong to any national writer’s organizations – check those resources, also magazines like ‘Writer’s Digest’ or ‘Writer’ list information about upcoming workshops and conferences.
If this is your first conference would you feel more comfortable in a smaller more intimate setting or are you ready to jump into one of the mega conferences like RWA’s National or the mystery writer’s Bouchercon.
Just wanted to give you something to think about. I will post later this week about the next step in preparing for a writers conference.
Until then, what do you do specifically to prepare or do you just pack a bag and go? Hopefully I can give you some suggestions that will help make your next conference experience more memorable.