STATUS: Got a lot accomplished. Close to wrapping up a new deal. Got a work out on submission and worked on a contract. That’s productive let me tell you.
What song is playing on the ipod right now? YOU BELONG TO ME by Dean Martin
Every year I try and attend at least 2 or 3 writers conferences. Well, this year I had some huge brain fart and I agreed to three and then realized that I also needed to go to the RT Convention and then I got invited to another conference that was local and then…
In the end, I scheduled something like 6 conferences in four months. Not to mention my trips to New York—the first being in April. Not smart I’m telling you.
So even though I way over-committed myself and can already feel pangs of regret, I didn’t cancel any because I like attending conferences.
Why? For several reasons really.
I really enjoy educating writers. I wouldn’t blog if I didn’t feel that. When I attend conferences, I always request to give one of several workshops I’ve developed that I think attendees would find of value. It’s the teacher in me. Back in the early nineties, I taught college—English 101, 102, and literature. I sometimes miss the classroom and here’s an opportunity to exercise those rusty muscles.
Although I have to crack up about the workshop I’m giving with my author Shanna in Dallas this weekend. It’s the Hot Genre of Chick Lit. Well, a year ago when they were planning this conference and confirming workshops, you could still call it the hot genre because you could actually sell a chick lit novel. Not so much the case these days.
Harrumph. Here we are a year later and the title really should be the Hot Genre of Chick Lit that’s Now in the Toilet but I’ve already blogged about that.
Too late to change the workshop.
At the very least, I guess Shanna and I get to talk about why the market has shifted and what that means for established writers and those new authors trying to break in. Still, it makes me wonder if I should fiddle significantly with my power point presentation. I can tell that this workshop won’t be offered much in the near future—or until the market turns around anyway.
I also like attending conferences because I like to stay in touch with the people behind the writing. It’s so easy to sit in my office and say NO, NO, NO to query after query or 50 partials in a row and forget that this is a person’s dream. It’s my job, yes, and publishing is first and foremost a business, yes, but being an agent is often more than just a job. I mean, come on, how many jobs have dream fulfillment as part of the description.
Conferences are the human face to what can be a dehumanizing experience of trying to get published.
It’s a good reason for why writers should go as well.