Do dee do…
Good stuff, right? And not at all what I was expecting her to say! Once again, that jam tart has opened my eyes.
I’m glad they both benefitted from the conference. I expected they would, but both gained valuable stuff in ways I hadn’t thought about.
Without stealing too much from Jenny’s and Allison’s posts – which hopefully you’ve read by now – here are 10 MORE good things you’ll learn at a writer’s conference:
- You know more than you think you do. That works for just about everyone except me. I think I know more than I do.
- Hanging around with other aspiring writers is comforting. You are not alone. There are others who are going through what you are going through – whatever it is you’re going through.
- You’ll learn stuff that will help you become a writer (always good) OR become a better writer (also good) OR
- You’ll have your ideas about writing confirmed. That should be an and/or. You’ll do both. So it’s a both, not an and/or. But that’ll happen. And that creates confidence. Ask Jenny.
- You’ll make friends – even if you are a shy type. (Shy writers??? Say it isn’t so!)
Turns out, if you are brave enough to GO to a conference, you’ll end up meeting somebody, even if it’s a boorish lout like me who sits next to your nonspeaking self at the 10am, session and asks for a pen. Next thing you know, I have a note-taking utensil and you’ve conversed. That will go somewhere because deep inside we writer types like connecting with other writer types. Even if I don’t sit next to you, someone will. Odds are you will strike up a convo eventually during the day, with someone who wants to create that same writerly bond we’re all seeking. You’ll sit together at the 11am session and eat lunch together. A writing bond has formed. It’s a beautiful thing.
- You’ll sell books. This should always be in your head but it’s not really the goal of a learning conference. But it should always be in your head. As people meet you and ask for your business card (you should have business cards and they should have the cover of you book on them, your email, your website, etc.)
but I got a small bump in sales during the conference, and that means people liked what I was telling them when they met me there. And what was I telling them? This:
- You’ll hone your pitch or blurb, whether you want to or not. Jenny went to a “pitch fest,” which I’d normally have thought was a waste of time, but by hearing how others pitch a book, you’ll gain insights as to what to say in yours. And since much of what goes into a pitch is also important in a blurb, it’s eye opening.That experience will never leave you, even if you don’t pitch. Which she didn’t. But at dinners (or lunches, or at the bar, or in random conversations over the awesome cookies conference hotels tend put out around 3pm), you’ll be asked if you have a book or what you’re writing, etc. That’s when Dan usually says, “I have 17 published titles and a few #1 bestsellers, and I also blog and I host a weekly video show where we interview authors and talk about writing topics WITH THESE TWO QUIET PEOPLE who are bestselling author Allison Maruska – her debut novel The Fourth Descendant sold over 20,000 copies in it’s first twelve months, and J A Allen who has an amazingly huge blog following and who has written a mind bendingly awesome novel that she’s currently tweaking as she gets ready to publish it…” And believe it or not, even without my intro, people will ask you what you write, and you’ll tell them. And by stumbling over it a few times, you’ll refine it to a workable – and short – description!
- You’ll have fun. Conferences tend to be at hotels. Hotels have bars. And pools. Room service. People who take the empty wine bottles away in the morning and make the bed for you. And you know what? Getting away from the daily grind, even for a conference, is different enough to make you enjoy it and then miss the home life and want to get back to the fam. It’s a total win-win.
- You’ll learn OTHER stuff. Yep, even if you know it all, you’ll learn something you didn’t know. Marketing, time management, networking, whatever. And that education will help your writing or your writing business or your social media profile.
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- Being in the proximity of authors who are doing what you want to be doing is HUGELY inspiring. There are people there who make their living writing books. They were once where you are, and there’s no magic secret to getting to where they are. Surprisingly, they’ll tell you how to get there! Presenters at conferences are there because they want to help you learn. They are amazingly approachable and they’re right in front of you, so ask them for the secrets and let them tell you. Then go do those things.
Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the amazingly great sci fi action thriller “The Navigators.” Click HERE to get your copy of The Navigators – FREE on Kindle Unlimited!