Monday, January 31, 2011

Back to Business Monday: Home from NYC - SCBWI Conference, Viking & more!

I got in late last night from a whirlwind four days in NYC.  Met up with friends and colleagues at Simon & Schuster and Tor Books, as usual.  Enjoyed my third trip to the SCBWI Winter Conference.  Most exciting of all was spending time with my editor and other folks at Viking.  Full recap and some fun play-by-plays to come when I'm better rested but, for now, I'll leave you with my three favorite reasons for attending writing conferences (in ascending order).

3. To BUILD your list of things to-read, to-write, to-blog, to-share.

2. To FORM & STRENGTHEN FRIENDSHIPS with the people in your writing community.

1. To LEARN from editors, agents, industry professionals and, especially, fellow-writers.

Notice that "to sell your manuscript" is NOT on this list.  If you concentrate on goals such as the ones above, instead of spending your conference time in frantic sell-mode, you may just find that a path to publication opens up for you.  I've certainly attended conferences both the "right way" and the "wrong way" and, for me, the best insights and opportunities have come when I've had confidence in my writing and not worried so much about what other people think (or want).
So, next time you find yourself headed for a conference... Relax (as best you can).  Reflect on your w-i-p and how you can employ comments from conference presenters and attendees to improve the manuscript.  And remember that these are just a few days in what has probably been a years-long, if not lifetime journey.  No matter what happens, if you believe in yourself, the conference will end with your dreams still intact and your hopes high!


Karen Strong said...

Love your #2. This is one of the main reasons that I love attending conferences.

Stasia said...

Agreed, Karen!

Sylvie said...

Good advice! At academic conferences (where almost everyone is there to be on a panel themselves), you could always tell who was there to hear themselves talk and who was there to hear others talk. Personally, although a lot of work, they always gave me new energy and interest in what I was doing.