No, I’m not just reading out of a thesaurus; I’m getting ready for my very first writer’s conference.
*Insert squeal of an eight year old blonde girl in ringlets*
Yes, because that is how I feel inside. Granted, I’ve never squealed in my life—well maybe when I was eight, but even then it’s unlikely. I’m not much of a squealer (whining I did a lot of, but squealing…not so much). That in no way means I don’t get excited about things, because I am pumped.
I don’t know what this conference will bring.
And that is what is so exciting!
Not knowing the outcome means the possibilities are endless. Which also means I have very few expectations. And being amenable to a wide variety of outcomes means I can be satisfied no matter what happens in the end.
Okay, so we’re entering the gushing realm here, so I’ll refrain from going on and on and ask a couple of questions:
What kinds of writing conferences have you attended and what did you get out of them?
Evidently—tis the season! I follow a lot of blogs and everyone is talking about the conference season in full swing, so I want to know what’s out there, what’s going on, and what is the experience.
The conference I am attending is entitled “She Speaks” which is specifically for Christian writers and speakers.
I am not a speaker.
Oddly, though, because I am not a speaker, this conference appealed more to me. I’d like to be a speaker. Or rather, I’d like to be able to get up in front of a crowd and talk about my writing, hopes and dreams and to be able to encourage others to seek their own hopes and dreams without wishing that the floor would swallow me whole and send me straight to Fiji!
I know, I know. I’m a teacher—I should be an expert public speaker.
No—speaking in front of pre-pubescent, and pubescent pimple popping punks, princesses and princes (I love teenagers!) is completely different than speaking in front of a crowd of peers. Believe me. If you don’t, try it some time. You’ll see.
And I’m not saying it’s easier either, it’s just different.
My point is, I’d like to be a better speaker, so this conference has perks in more than one way—including networking prospects.
Even though my expectations are wide open, I have signed up for my track and so for those of you who follow (and those of you who pray) I’d appreciate your thoughts and prayers during these times! You’re my support and I want to make sure that I get the most out of this experience that I can; the only way I can do that is to call on ALL my support—and that includes YOU!
(Oh, and I know the dangers of posting this on the internet—but be warned I have a pit bull at my house and she’ll protect it while I’m gone—plus it’s not empty. I’m not stupid.)
1-2 welcome, worship, devotion
-I love that the conference starts out with worship and devotion. The only way any of this work can be truly blessed is if it is DEVOTED back to the ONE who blessed me in the first place. AMEN.
2:15-3:15 Finding something to talk about
-Now, we all know that I have a lot to say, but this is about avoiding procrastination, and this kind of direction—focused direction can be helpful to someone who has been talking about being a writer since she was…six? And is just now doing something about it (hey—I’m going to be 30 in a month…better late than never, right?)
3:35-4:35 What is a platform and Why do I need one? Blogging 101
-Now, I’ve been blogging for a while, but I could definitely be better (and more consistent) with it. And building a platform is important—and not easy. I am looking forward to this. Suggestions bloggers? Always welcome
5:15-6:15 How to title your book and carry its theme throughout
-I always title my books LAST because I believe that the title should be carried throughout—so if it isn’t after I title the book then I can make those changes as I edit. I wonder what suggestions they’ll have in this workshop because I’ll admit that titling is NOT my forte.
9:30-11 General session
11:20-12:20 Social media and panel discussion
-I could always use help (and advice) in improving my PR.
2-3: Storytelling on the page
-During this I will also be meeting with a publisher. My appointment is at 2pm. It will likely only last about 15 minutes. PLEASE pray at 2pm on Friday if you pray at no other time during the conference. I don’t know if this publisher will be right for me or not, but it will be a good experience and I would like to make a good impression as it is an important contact regardless of how it turns out.
3:30-5:30 Track meetings (Word power equals Sales Power; Overcoming procrastination)
-At 3:30 I will also take time to meet with an agent. Again, I don’t know if this agent will be interested or right for me either, but also an important experience and contact and I want to make a good impression.
8:15-9:45 Main session
8:30-9:30 welcome, worship, morning devo
9:50-10:50 Getting things done in ministry on a budget
-I find that many times people don’t like to talk about the financial aspects of writing and publishing. It needs more attention because it isn’t cheap! And you don’t make millions.
11:10-12:10 Take the mystery out of marketing
-Ahhhhh, that WOULD be helpful.
1:15-2:15 Memoir writing
-A genre I haven’t tackled and haven’t thought about until recently…details to come.
2:45-5:45 bonus session (critique groups)
7-8:30 main session
8:30-9:30 dessert and mingle
As you can see, it’s a PACKED agenda and I’m excited. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, if you do nothing other than just pray a little for me over the next few days I’d appreciate you—but more importantly pray for all the women at this conference because speaking and writing CAN make a difference in this crazy mixed up world of ours and the fact that there are so many women who want to try to make a difference really is a beautiful thing.
So Tis’ the Season to get your conference on.