Wednesday, August 15, 2012

5 Reasons to NOT Attend a Writers Conference

Okay, so lots of writers have written blog posts about the virtues of writers conferences. They list all the benefits and glorify them until you’d think you were slapping down hundreds of dollars for eternal life. Well, I hate to rain on anyone’s parade but I’m about to bring in the thunderheads and set ‘em loose.

Here are 5 reasons NOT to attend a writers conference.

1. You may see someone you know. Or, forbid it all, meet someone new, maybe even someone from a foreign state like, say, Florida. You’ll have to talk to them, get to know them, and probably find out you share a lot in common. In fact, you’ll be surrounded by a bunch of weird writer-types who share your same interests. It’ll remind you of one of those bizarre conventions where everyone dresses up like writers and pretends to be fascinated with what you’re currently working on.

2. Editors and agents are there for the specific reason of talking to you and seeing your work. You may find out that they’re quite normal people, most of them even nice people, and then they’ll be knocked off that pedestel you’ve put them on. All fear will be banished

 3. People will want to read what you’ve written. You’ll feel exposed, vulnerable. Your writing will be critiqued and then you’ll feel like you need to actually improve it.

4. You’ll be encouraged to explore and understand why you feel that urge to write so much. They’ll get all emotional on you and throw around words like “calling” and “purpose.” You’ll be challenged to dig deep and search your soul. Ugh.

5. You will become a better writer and increase your chances of getting published. The worst of all . . . someone may actually take you and your passion for writing seriously. Then you’ll have to spend real time writing and reading and honing your craft.

Are you really game for all that?

Question: Have you ever attended a writers conference? Which one and was it torture or what?


Bruce Hennigan said...

I just attended the International Retail Christian Show -- not really a writer's conference but a show filled with agents and publishers and editors and writers. And, I walked away with a huge surprise -- a new book deal!!!

I also met all of the people you mentioned but from other places than Florida since the show was in Florida! Didn't meet one of my favorite authors, however, YOU!

But I met Ted Dekker, Martha Rogers, Tosca Lee, Charles Martin, and Os Guinness.

It was a great experience!

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I love conferences. I've attended every single one of the ACFW conferences. Can't wait until September so I can go again.

Mike Dellosso said...

I would love to meet those writers, Bruce, including you :)

Martha W. Rogers said...

Thanks, Bruce, for including me in that awesome list. I'm looking forward to the conference in Dallas, and like Lena, I've attended every one of them. It's my "fix" for the year. Loved your approach, Mike. Sorry it took so long to get here and post.