It is with pleasure that I welcome Mary Davis back to the blog rotation. She is now serving WWW, the Colorado Springs chapter as treasurer.
The conference debate. Do I go to this conference or that conference? Or not at all.
~~After all I haven’t had anything published.
~~I’m between contracts.
~~I don’t have anything to show an editor or agent.
~~I’m not ready.
These and many other excuses keep writers from conferences. I don’t know that anyone is actually ready for their first conference. I know I wasn’t. I don’t know that you can be ready for a conference until you’ve been to one to see what they’re about and get a feel for them.
Going to a first conference prepares you for the second which prepares you for the third and fourth and so on. At each conference you learn and are more prepared for the next one.
Conferences are more than just about going to workshops to learn and hunting that elusive contract. They are about connecting with people. Connecting with other writers, making new friends. Friends that make you do things you may not be ready for.
My trip to conferenceland started with a friend who made me take the first step to get us in a crit group. One thing led to another and I was in another crit group with someone who told me about a conference. I was so green and unprepared to go to a conference, but I went and met a woman who told me about better conference that she said I had to go to. I went. I was still very green and didn’t know much.
My new friend was there and sat at a table with a particular editor that she knew I needed to talk to. Then she abandoned me. I was scared to death. Somehow I managed to say enough intelligible words that the editor told me to make an appointment with her. Eventually that editor gave me a contract for my first book.
Conferences aren’t always about writing either. Some conferences I’ve been to the Lord has taught me some life and spiritual lessons. Sometimes going to a conference is about reaching out to another person with help or encouragement.
You never know what road the Lord will lead you down, what twists and turns there will be on your journey, but if you don’t journey, you will never get there.
So ready or not, go for it and see what the Lord wants to teach you.