As a “general” rule (ever wonder why there’s no “private first class” rule?) fiction writers are shy. That’s why they create artificial worlds and imaginary friends. Writers like to sit at a cozy desk more than they like to go to parties, because at parties they have to talk to actual people. Or else sit in the corner, which many writers have been known to do, claiming they’re researching a scene for their latest novel. Not.
So, what do you call it when 400 or so writers congregate in the same place? A Writers’ Conference. These events occur across the country this time of year, and, as social events, they’re distinctly odd. People clutching bags or briefcases line up alphabetically to retrieve their registration packets. Most keep their eyes straight ahead, trying to remember why they wanted to come to the conference. Which is why today I’m sharing my version of the Top Ten Reasons Writers Go to Conferences.
Top Ten Reasons Writers Go to Conferences:
10. To attend autograph parties filled with people gushing around a successful author hoping the fairy dust will rub off. – Wow! So that’s what success looks like.
9. To eat catered meals with people uncomfortable talking to each other, but trying to be pleasant. – Are you going to eat your dessert?
8. To learn how to self-publish a book in 18 excruciating steps. – What do you mean by “upload the manuscript”? Up to where?
7. To learn how to write a successful novel. – Noooo. Don’t make me take out the prologue.
6. To find out how to use social media. – I don’t want to and you can’t make me.
5. To find out what a “platform” is and how to build it – My book is my platform.
4. To learn about tax write-offs. – The trip to Paris should be tax deductible. It was research.
3. To find out why editors are so critical – I’m not cutting the scene and you can’t make me.
2. To learn how to sell a book – Honestly, it’s so fabulous it’ll sell itself.
1. And the Number One reason writers emerge from their caves: To meet an agent who will fall in love with my book and get me a six-figure advance. – Please, please, please like me.
I’ll be attending the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Conference at the end of the week. Once again held at the Sea-Tac Airport Hilton. I’ll let you know what happens.
Featured Photo – a Portrait of Jean Mielot by Jean Le Tavernier, 15th Century, US Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
Sandra Wagner-Wright is the author of Two Coins: A Biographical Novel and Rama's Labyrinth. Both books are available in digital and print editions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Kobo. Rama’s Labyrinth and Two Coins are available as audiobooks.
Sandra blogs weekly about topics related to her travels, writing life, and the incongruities of life in general.