What’s Write About 4 Conferences in a Year

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My 2016 has been filled with conferences. As some may know my husband is military. The last few years especially have been filled with detachments. Being away from family made conferences difficult, not impossible (I managed to get one in a year with the help of my traveling mother in law).

This year I had my husband around more and I had opportunity. So, I ventured out to conferences as much as possible. Even made one to see old friends that I left behind on our most recent move. Unintentionally, I ended up signing myself up for four SCBWI conferences/workshops. So what is right about doing this? Everything!

Inspiration. At the first conference one of the guest speakers inspired the kick in the pants I needed to start the book. It was the adventure and voices I had in my head, but didn’t know how to categorize and I was afraid to actually write it. That hadn’t happened to me before. With my most recent book finished and off to query there was no more stalling. Write it or find another. I started researching the one I was afraid to write.

Support. The next conference got the ball rolling so that I might have something to talk about at it. I needed to share my story with all my friends. They hadn’t seen me in a while so I needed to assure them I was still writing and explain it in such a way I didn’t sound crazy.  I explored my idea.

Deadlines and networking. The third was a summer workshop in which I needed a completed novel. That meant waking up before the kiddos and insuring I wrote every day to get it done before summer. I signed up so there was no backing out. It didn’t matter I was nervous to write it and then read out parts of it in front of strangers.  Although scary and not necessarily the awed reaction every writer dreams of—I didn’t explode. Therefore, I was able to utilize the new tools I had learned to get my work into shape. Maybe someday in the future I could impress someone with this story.  I also met a lot of other serious writers in my new state of residence. Even if the work wasn’t where it should be they encouraged the idea. Now to rewrite it, correctly.

Finished Books. This was the third novel that I’d written and the fastest. I signed up for that paid critique and got the feedback I needed to start querying. The conferences got me to reach my goals in a shortened time. They provided me with support that I needed to keep going. And networking that I intend to use for beta reads and to send out queries. Now I also know how to face my fears and keep writing. I hurdled the blocks (sometimes falling) along the way and finished another book. Time to sign up for more conferences and start the next one.  

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