I recently went to the 30th Annual Anwa Writers’ Conference this weekend, and though my body is exhausted, my mind is filled with ideas, fueled by motivation, and warmed with a slew of new friends in the publishing world.
It took me a several years to go to a writers’ conference. I thought for sure I could learn just as much through classes and books. This weekend I realized conferences are more than the new techniques we learn (though I found some invaluable). Conferences include growing friendships in the professional writing world, and being inspired to fulfill your potential.
Where else could I casually talk to a publishing manager about my book and the current trends in the market? Or learn from New York Times Best Selling authors about craft and get to chat over lunch with them? With some of the bigger conferences you may not get this opportunity, but you need to find what conference fits your needs.
Now that I am back home and alone in front of my computer, I’m trying to decide what is the best way to keep riding this high and fulfilling my dream. Here are some tips I thought I’d share and feel free to add some of your own.
- Stay in Touch: When you make connections at the conference, keep them. Friend them on social media and keep that connection if it works for you. These writers, published or not, are serious about their careers. Support each other on your journey.
- Utilize the Connection: If you met an agent and plan on querying them next year, make sure to remind them where you met. And with other authors, reach out to switch reviews or beta reads.
- Read those Notes: We all took notes over the weekend, but don’t let your conference notes get buried in that deep drawer we never venture too.
- “Success is in the doing”: Don’t let those negative thoughts most writers have, get to you. We can’t wait for happiness when we get our first book deal, or make a certain list, or win a certain award. Live in the journey. Live in the writing.