Writing is a solitary act. Most of us write because we can’t keep the words bottled up and need to express ourselves. To learn the skills and the publishing business we need to rely on each other and professionals to mentor and teach us. Our writing skills don’t necessarily grow in a vacuum. Some authors are a natural and write a bestseller first time out. However, even those writers have agents, editors, and publishers.
If you’ve never attended a writers’ conference, then I’d recommend selecting one. Some of my previous posts include information about conferences around the country (U.S.) What are the benefits?
Get to know other writers
Meet agents and editors in the business
Become part of a network of people who know how to get from draft to publication and learn from them
Take advantage of 10 – 15 minute pitching sessions with agents or editors. It helps by-pass the slush pile.
Realize that others are going through the same experience you are
Receive information and handouts that can be career changing. Put them in a notebook and refer to them.
Find inspiration and encouragement
You’ll return home fired up and excited about your writing. I encourage you to find a conference or retreat in your area and put it on your calendar. Put the money aside for the event over the coming months. Research the editors and agents who will be attending and taking appointments. Enter contests in conjunction with the writers’ conference for prizes and great feedback on your work. Wear your comfortable shoes and enjoy yourself.