Michille: Preparing to Attend a Writers’ Conference

RWA 2018RWA National Conference is fast approaching. So it’s time to start prepping for it. Well, time for you to start prepping for it. I’m not attending this year, unfortunately, because I’m going to miss the huge jolt of inspiration and motivation that I get from it. I may look into getting the recordings so that I can experience it at least a little.

First thing, of course, is getting the conference schedule and deciding which sessions to go to, which to avoid. If you’re pitching this year, work on that. I suck at elevator pitches and tag/log line type descriptions so creating those is torture. In order to make sure I’m not forgetting anything, I googled to find some internet advice.

Most of the advice is the same. The blog post I found on The Write Life, 6 Ways to Make the Most of a Writers’ Conference. BookBub has a post about 5 Steps to Writing a Killer Elevator Pitch with pitching tips from literary agents. I don’t need that this year, but some of you might. Writer’s Relief blog had some interesting one that you don’t see every day. The tips are from readers of the blog. I liked “have that third drink back in your room” and “don’t eat garlic” for the humor. But “let yourself REST” is critical. I always forget this one and then I get burned out.

I don’t usually like the —— for Dummies books, because I don’t think of myself as a dummy, but the Ten Ways to Make the Most of a Writers’ Conference was very good, quite thorough. A different take on it was on Jennie Nash’s blog – 9 Ways to Ruin a Writing Conference. I’m guilty of comparing myself to other writers and come out felling “less than.”

What is your best advice for attending a writers’ conference?

4 thoughts on “Michille: Preparing to Attend a Writers’ Conference

  1. Since nervous me is never my best self, I try to set myself to “input mode,” to focus on asking people what they write, where they are in their careers and what they hope will come next, rather than chattering about myself. It takes a lot of pressure off, but it also consumes a lot of energy, so remembering to take time to rest, away from other people, is important.

    • I spent a couple conferences wearing myself out because I didn’t take time to rest. I felt like I wasn’t getting my money’s worth if I didn’t attend everything. The last time, I allowed myself to take breaks, especially when there weren’t any really stellar sessions. That is good advice.

  2. Cons (conferences or conventions) can be overwhelming! If possible, it’s really nice to arrange to meet up with some people you know (either in real-life or from the internet) during the first days. And don’t be shy about tagging along — the next session, or maybe for lunch or supper if they aren’t doing something that needs reservations. Also, get there early to the sessions. You can get better seats, and you get a chance to talk with the kind of people who get there early for good seats!

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