Thursday, July 17, 2014

Conference Tips #2

My Most Important Tip:

Okay, over the last couple days I've posted a lot of tips for those going to RWA's Conference in San Antonio next week. I think a lot were tips that could apply to anyone in their every day life. This last one is the most important one. And it is definitely one that applies to everyday life as well! If you're going, have fun! I'll be at the signing, so stop over and say hi!


On that same note (see previous post), I frequently try to lend a shoulder and moral support to writers with editor/agent appointments. 

More than once I've had someone who's worried about some ALWAYS/NEVER advice. For instance, once someone had prepared little notecards because she was so nervous about her appointment. She gone to a workshop where the speaker said, NEVER use notecards at an editor/agent appointment. An editor/agent will NEVER ask to see a manuscript from someone who used a notecard. ARGH.

Just in case you have an appointment, I've done an informal poll and the editors and agents who take appointments all said they don't care if you use notecards. What they really want is to hear something short and to the point about your story. To be honest, they all really WANT to love your story. That's why they're there, to find new talent. So take a deep breath and do your best. There's no ALWAYS or NEVER about how you do it.


I've met so many newer writers who come out of one workshop or another feeling that however they've been working is 'wrong.' SIGH. Here's some very good conference advice…if you go to a workshop where the speaker uses the words, 'always' and 'never' a lot, take anything they say with a grain of salt.

Susan Gable and I have done a workshop together (and occasionally solo) called, "We Don't Need No Stinkin' Rules." A better title might be, "Your Rules Might Not Apply to Me and Vice Versa," but that's a bit long and cumbersome. Anyway, you get the idea. Own your own creative process. And realize that what works for you today might not work for you tomorrow.

Remember, what works for you might not work for the next person.

Uh, that's not really a Conference Tale. It's more of a lecture, but hey, I'm a mom. Sometimes lectures just happen!

(A funny aside, I was never a physical discipliner. I 'talked' or lectured the kids when there was an issue. On occasion, they begged me to become a spanker! LOL)


I already mentioned that if you see someone at the conference sitting alone say hi…ask to join them, or invite them to join you. I've met more lovely people that way! 

One trip, I was in the window seat when a man came and sat in the center seat. I smiled and said, hi. We had a great conversation. I mentioned a husband straight away and he mentioned a wife…so we were both sure it was just a chat. LOL He worked for the airline and I asked about his job. I love collecting those random bits about different jobs. I've frequently used them in books. As the plane landed, he said thank you…he flew all the time but hadn't talked to another passenger in years. I asked why he talked to me. He said…because you smiled.

So smile at people at conference! You never know when the next stranger you meet will turn out to be a best friend! 

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