We all need to take time out now and then and invest in ourselves. That investment can take many different forms: a new website, a new computer, craft books, spending time with crit partners, and sometimes attending a conference among many other things.
Don't go to conference expecting to sign with an agent or be offered a contract. These things can happen, but you're letting yourself in for huge disillusionment and disappointment if that's why you plan to attend.
Do plan to meet with editors and agents and pitch your stories. You never know what will come of a meeting, but go to grow. Ask the experts questions that will help you get better at your craft and gain confidence among those who have been helping writers for a long time.
Don't be shy. Or don't let your shyness prevent you from taking risks. Say hello. Introduce yourself. Make friends and make the most of it.
Do take advantage of the many opportunities that present themselves. Schedule appointments that are important to you, attend workshops you think will help you grow, do something totally unplanned. By that, I mean you may have planned one thing, but a little voice whispers to you that you need to go do that something you didn't consider earlier. That may be one of your divine appointments.
KEEPING YOUR SANITY
I learned a long time ago that even if I attend conference it's worth getting the MP3 because of what I've discussed above. You just can't do everything and be alert to learning all the time. Sometimes you have to go take a nap, go outside and walk and get some fresh air, do something unexpected and fun with friends, talk to someone over coffee instead of going to a workshop. Then you can listen to the MP3 another time and pace your learning so you can have more time to think about a subject and review.
- I attended as a published author and got to wear my Author ribbon.
- I met with my agent (Rachelle Gardner) for the first time since my book published.
- I saw my book selling in the bookstore.
- Went out to dinner with my agent and fellow agency mates.
- Video-taped interview for Christian Retailing and also completed video-tape for sales department at Realms/Charisma.
- My agent received the Agent of the Year Award and I was there to witness it. :)
- I took breaks and took naps.
- God had grown me over many years.
- I'd presevered and I'd presevered some more.
- I listened and watched for God moments.
Was it worth it? Yep.
Did you go? Have you gone in the past? What made it worth it for you?