Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 06/05/15


The writing career is full of presents—the fancy-wrapped-kind that allows a writer the opportunity to step out of themselves and into multiple facets of real life or fiction and the tape-free gift bag that opens easily and quickly and offers the instant SURPRISE!  So it is when attending most Writers Conferences.  Having just returned from four marvelous conference days in the high, high mountains of Colorado, I am ready to tackle every writing challenge set before me, and there are several.

When you decide you want—or need—to participate in a conference for writers, here are a few things to look for in the Conference Package…

1. LOOK FOR A TASTY SMORGASBORD OF TOPICS.  Are the workshops offering you the tools you feel you need? Example: Fictions writers can also glean good information from non-fiction workshops—and vice versa. However, if the non-fiction workshops deal with technical writing for manufacturing companies, its usefulness to the fiction writer is negligible.

2. IS THE SELECTION OF WORKSHOPS presented by real people (authors, agents, editors, publishers—both established “houses” and independent—writing coaches and those knowledgeable in the latest marketing venues) who have the reputation of truly wanting to help writers grow and succeed?  Do a little internet research on the names listed as presenters of the workshops that sound interesting to you.  Read their resumes.  If you don’t see an immediate fit to your needs, don’t select that workshop. If there are multiple miss-fits, it is doubtful that particular conference will meet your needs.

3. GOOGLE everybody—from the Conference Director/founder and the support/faculty staff to attendees (if that list is available). What these folks have published will have a direct link to the type of conference they’ve built.  Look for phrases in their bios that connect with and/or support the style of writing you hope to improve, such as: Top Fiction Writer of 2013 or Best Blogger Award or Leading Poet of the Century.

4. PUT YOURSELF in a positive frame of mind.  Ask yourself WHY you’re going to this conference. If you’re anticipating that by simply attending those workshops you can absorb everything they offer and therefore your manuscript will become perfect, think again.  Writing any project is always a “work in progress” and conferences can be part of the process in each individual writers growth.  There is a fine balance needed for the attendee—to glean all the information and inspiration you can—by not taking the conference and/or yourself too seriously and not going overboard with a too-relaxed attitude.

Have you seen those encouragement cards that say LIVE, LOVE, and LAUGH?  These are excellent elements to consider when you are developing the characters in your novel.  They are not the best things to do at a writers conference.  Keep yourself focused WHILE enjoying the fun aspects that you’ll find there.  BOTTOM LINE…you’re there to learn from the best and most experienced writers who have agreed to talk with newer writers about their “walk through the writing waters.”

And don’t forget to drink water and eat as normally as possibly.  If your physical energy is depleted, so will your ability to learn be diminished. You’re deeply invested in your writing, and the next step is to complete that project and get it published!

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

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