There are hundreds of writer’s blogs. Within each of those blogs, there are a handful of posts that give advice for writers attending a writer’s conference.
Honestly, I’ve probably read them all, and if you’re a pre-published author and taking this gig seriously, you probably have too. So I won’t rehash what other bloggers have said (perhaps far more elegantly than I ever could.)
At the past Oregon Christian Writer’s Summer Conference, I’d say I had a successful week. There are a thousand ways to measure success, but I am happy that I made connections and friendships that I believe will continue on for some time. I received interest and helpful feedback on my manuscript, all of which I’m grateful for.
So my secret to success? Go all out. Don’t waste a single opportunity.
(Note – I don’t mean cut lose and forget all propriety and courtesy and all the other things those writers blogs advise…)
What I mean is this: Don’t let reservations, hesitations or bashfulness keep you from reaching out to those agents, editors and pro writers that you’re secretly dying to meet. They are people too, and they wouldn’t be there if they didn’t like connecting with other humans. Engage them in conversation and don’t focus on you and your writing. Get to know others, and in turn, it will all come back around.
PS – a final note of advice. I tweeted throughout the conference using a hashtag I created for the conference, and that in itself brought about new followers, new conversations and new friends! So try something new and out of your comfort zone at your next conference.
—- A final note — this in no way only applies to writers. I’ve attended other conferences, pageants and meetings and each bit of advice applies to these as well. Remember your manners, your goals and don’t let shyness hold you back.