I’ve been to two conferences this year. First was the NECRWA, which took place near Boston. This was a fast-paced weekend full of sessions on craft, marketing and the publishing world. Being my first ‘major’ conference, it took me almost the entire weekend to get in the groove of things…figure out the flow. And then it was time to leave. I met some great people, even someone from the tiny town I live in. Go figure! She’s since joined the writing group where I’m a member.
The following weekend I attended NESCBWI’s conference with, if I remember correctly, 600+ people. Large compared to the previous conference. I was still reeling from the last event that stepping out of my comfort and into the throngs of people came easily. I volunteered, met people. Attended information sessions…met people. Joined people at dining tables without feeling like an intruder…met people. So you see, the on-going theme here is you meet a lot of people. Be open to it, embrace it.
I’m very excited about the new friendships I made during these conferences. Meeting other writers, people in you exact position, puts you in good company where MS, MC, protag, query and other words/acronyms are the norm.
This brings me to prior-planning.
Had I looked at all the conference schedules, I would’ve realized the RWA conference in Atlanta was in July. In Atlanta!! Right at the end of my trip down south to pick up my kids. In the same state. Did I mention Atlanta! I’d already rescheduled my flight plan twice, I couldn’t do it again for three people, just so I could attend the conference, which I’ll be missing by two days.
I’ll be a mess that weekend, an hour away from fabulous sessions, writers, publishers and agents. My brain will surely be somewhere else. So this is where I say, “PRIOR PLAN.” If you’re going on a trip to visit family, check the area for conferences before making your flights. If I had, I’d be RWA-Atlanta bound.
At least there’s next year. 🙂