One week or so from now I will be at When Words Collide 2017. A tremendous opportunity for me to learn more about the craft of writing, to get inspired about my writing and lastly, face the music. (A little melodrama never hurt anyone)
You may wonder what ‘face the music’ means. This past year one of the writing groups I participate in committed to submitting to the editors, publishers and other authors offering free critiquing sessions. These people do this with little or no chance of gaining from the sessions. It’s part of what makes this conference great, people giving of their time and expertise. Like a fool, I thought, sign me up. To that end I requested three slots at the conference to give an editor samples of my work and receive feedback. I have no aspirations other than to learn from people on how to improve my writing.
Depending on the slot(s) I will be submitting different pieces. Having requested the waiting is underway. And winner winner, chicken dinner – three slots!
Anticipating a busy three days, I am trying to prepare better for the grind of the conference. What does that mean? For me it means healthy snacks, regular meals and letting myself enjoy the conference. I will try and not worry if I am at the “BEST SESSION”, but rather enjoy where I am. If it is horrible, I will not worry if I offend anyone and get up and leave. More than ever this year I want to seek the opinion of others. What sessions did they enjoy?
One session I have put my name in for is a 50 minute sit down with Guy Gavriel Kay. There are 12 spots to be determined by a draw. The exquisite beauty and personal pain he can give to a reader through his characters is magical. Hence the excitement. What does one ask of a literary hero?
A Quick Stream of Consciousness blog on conference prep
Read this list one bullet at a time – SLOWLY – in place of the bullet say your name
- schedule a time within 7 days AFTER the conference to go over you notes to correct and organize – schedule one hour of every day you attend – you may need less – for this conference I have schedule 3 hours over two days the Tuesday and Wednesday I get back
- Define Goals – Don’t be vague. Example – One of my goals this year is to send out 3 tweets a day. (I almost never tweet, like one a month)
- Get an early copy of the program and have a plan, but don’t force yourself to rigidly stick to it
- bring a Tide to Go Stick
- Hydrate – AC is a conference attenders biggest enemy. Rooms are cooled by removing moisture from the air…you do the math
- Carry snacks – my go to snacks are apples, almonds and good granola bars (not chocolate bars)
- Eat breakfast, I don’t care if you never eat breakfast, eat breakfast, Oatmeal or Fruit/yogurt/granola
- Water, or a sports drink – not pop
- Dental floss or dental picks
- Try and limit your coffee consumption. This is VERY HARD, dare i SAY IMFRICKINPOssible for me.
- No aftershave
- Antacid – I take Gavscon – that’s what I like
- Power outlets are your friend
- Don’t be afraid to say hello to a stranger, it may be Brandon Sanderson
- Ask questions
- Thank people, especially the volunteers
- Take notes, there is no way you can remember everything you want to remember at the conference, find out if there are notes available for sessions.
- Find the nearest local grocery store and stock your fridge
- Napping is fine, use the alarm on your phone to wake you up
- Laugh – enjoy the humor
- There are two sides to writing – creative and editing – feed both sides of your writing at the conference – you will thank me later
- Buy Books – bring cash – small publishers get more money in their pockets – get recommendations from the small publishers.
- Take the free stuff, go over it when you get home
- Expect to be super-saturated – there is nothing wrong with being overloaded with information, it will stretch your little grey cells
/End of the list
My goals: 3 tweets a day (already mentioned), volunteer at the conference (3 x 2 hour sessions booked), Eat healthy, Blog every day about the sessions I attend every day, thank Randy McCharles (Done!)