My First Writers' Conference

Today was KDL’s 3rd Annual Celebrate the Mitten Writers’ Conference and I was there for both the morning and afternoon sessions.
There are a lot more people in the area that are writers or aspiring writers, there were probably 200 people in the audience. This could be a good thing. Though, I was not feeling confident enough to actually do any networking today. Which was disappointing and I’m kicking myself now.
I recorded the whole thing on my phone, and it turned out-not-to-bad. But that’s just for me, I won’t be putting that up anywhere. A lot of what I heard wasn’t new; I have a lot of writing books and I’ve spent a lot of time at various online writing sites. But listening to the speeches, there were three presentations in each of the two sessions, did give me some insights and spur me to write some things down. Let me share those with you.

  • KDL offers a free electronic subscription to The Writer magazine to it’s members. Which is something I’d love to have on my Nook.
  • You have to find out what happens if you do more than dabble? Commit the time!
  • Despite everything that was said today about rejection and perseverance, I had this thought: Perseverance isn’t enough, you must improve and adapt.
  • The Cascade branch of KDL has a writers group. Cascade Writers’ Group. A quick web search tells me that they meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month and offer support and feedback from other aspiring writers. I don’t know who to talk to about the group, but they have one and that may be something for me to look into.
  • There were good things said about a website I hadn’t heard of, Backspace: The Writer’s Place.
  • Shannon Janeczek of Publish Savvy fame had a lot of information about self-publishing and ebooks, but her presentation ran short of time. She seemed very knowledgeable and I was disappointed to not hear everything she had to say. So I asked if she would share her Power Points with me, and she said she would. I’ll be sending that email here shortly.
  • One of the presenters mentioned that her writing group isn’t a critique group, but that they gather to share tips, talk shop, and provide writing accountability for each other. That is what I’m looking for. I’m having enough of a struggle with my own work, I don’t want to be critiquing someone else’s work.
  • The Writer Beware site is the place to go to avoid getting scammed.
  • Proof Reading is all about spelling and punctuation. Editing is about story flow, consistency, character, and telling the best story in the best way.
  • Editing can be costly, from $200 to as much as $450/per 10,000 words. That’d cost me nearly $6000 to edit A Difficult Dinner.
  • The place to go to get Bookland EAN Barcodes is Bowker, and you need a seperate barcode for each edition of your book (nook, amazon, print, audio, etc…). You may want to buy them in bulk.
  • I need to work on a Bio
  • I took down the numbers for a couple writing groups that looked interesting.
  • Use feedback that contradicts to question the writing and inspire a new look at it, not to just choose the feedback you prefer.
  • Writing is Rewriting.
  • Fall in love with your process, or, find a process that works for you or you won’t write.
  • Having a prewriting ritual is a good way to draw down and narrow your focus.
  • Aric Davis looks like someone I would not have much to do with, but is actually a compelling speaker with a good charisma and I liked him.

Jim Hines was the last presenter and he said a couple things that resonated with me.

  • The best writing advice and the best way to learn to write is to put your but in the chair, write a book, and then write another book.
  • When deciding what to write, write the story that scares you. For me this would be Malach, a story I’m worried I won’t do justice to.
  • He uses the HabitRPG app to track his daily word count, which seems like a fun little way to do it. Plus, he get’s XP for writing.
  • With regard to all the nonwriting chores a writer has to do he gave this advice; Don’t do everything, do the things you love doing well.
  • Develop your platform and move beyond your fear.
  • A survey of 246 published novelists showed that the average time to getting your first book published is 11.6 years.

I took more notes, but I think that’s enough here. Lots of interesting speakers and lots of local writers. Plenty of food for the creative spirit. I’m feeling inspired. It was a good conference and I’ll be back for the 4th Annual.