Writers’ Conferences: Early Registration and Other Disasters

Well, it finally happened. It’s January seventh, and people just started talking about registering for writers’ conferences this summer. Some people just have their conference. Every year, the same conference, and the same place. In the case of that first, early-bird conferencer of spring, they have family near the conference, so going there is easier, cheaper, and doubles as family time.

I’m not that lucky, so whichever conference I go to (If I go… that’s still up in the air) I’ll have to pay for a hotel room, and learn a new city… and… and…

The terrifying thing that came up at the conference I went to last year (my first, BTW) was that it takes about three years to acclimate and really get used to being at a conference. I keep thinking about that, from time to time. Three years. And did I mention that last year was my first real vacation in… uhm… well, more than three years?

So, if I go back… to the same conference… in the same place… for two more years… then, maybe then, I will have acclimated, and it will feel like I belong.

The conference did not feel like a vacation. It was more like going back to school. High school. Complete with the joy of ten-minute sprints to find your next class… and school lunches. (I kid you not, if I go again, I’ll be taking a couple cases of meal-replacement shakes to… well, replace meals.)

On the other hand, I got to meet some of my internet friends, and be with my own tribe for a while. And some of the lectures were really worth going to. (Strangely enough, not the ones you’d expect.)

And then, there’s the overall strategy for approaching captive publishing folks. I fully intend to have a manuscript ready by then. (By before then.) And I intend to be in the midst of querying. In my liturgy of things that could go wrong (and probably will) I have… “But you already rejected me…” and “Well, your round of queries is coming up any minute.” (Newer agents, this year.) The strategy for actually getting an appointment is, of course, to register as soon as humanly possible.

I find myself on the fence about the whole thing.

I want to want to go.

Honestly.

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