Monday, February 21, 2011

Conference Call

Post by Jenny

“Flat” isn’t necessarily a bad quality. It makes for a fine tortilla. It’s a desirable attribute for bellies and a necessity for some musical notes in minor key signatures. But flat champagne? Eww. A flat housing market? Not so good. And flat creative energy? That really stinks.

I know because that’s how I’m feeling. Tired. Uninspired. A little burned out. I’m not all that excited about my writing projects—past, present, or future. When I do sit down to write, I’m finding it hard to keep my butt in the chair and my hand out of the chips. I have not yet been reduced to watching daytime infomercials, but I do occasionally consider pursuing a career as a deodorant-testing armpit sniffer or professional hypochondriac.

That’s why I’m looking forward to the upcoming NCW Writers Conference. As Hans and Franz from the old SNL used to say, I need someone to pump (insert clap here) me up. I need to absorb some writing mojo, to rub elbows with writers of all genres, interests, and abilities. I need to commiserate with people who have had their fair share of rejection and celebrate with others who are excited about their successes. For writers, there’s no better place to find all that than at a conference.

At previous conferences, I’ve gone in with an agenda. This usually involved pitching to an agent, semi-stalking a few other industry folks (authors, editors, publishers) I thought I should meet, and attending only those sessions that were most relevant to me.

But this year, I’m flying by the seat of my pants. I’m not pitching, I’m not stalking, and I’m giving myself free rein in session selection. Maybe I’ll sit in on “Playing with Cliché” or “Back Matter Matters.” And how could I not be intrigued by “Goddess of Fiction” or “Sh*t My Editor Says”? I don’t write for children, but I imagine “How to Avoid Making Childish Mistakes When Writing for Children” will have useful information for writers of all genres.

As for keynote speakers Diane Sieg and Dom Testa, I’ve read their conference bios, and I’m pretty sure the only way they’ll leave me uninspired is if I accidentally overdose myself with Benadryl beforehand. (If I avoid hay and fluffy housecats, that shouldn’t be an issue.)

The theme of this year’s conference is Passport to Writing. I’m looking forward to beginning the next leg of my writer’s journey there, and I hope you are, too.

What part of a writers conference pumps you up?

7 comments:

Kay Theodoratus said...

Sounds like you're trying to get out of a rut. Hope the conference gives you new insights. See you there.

chandra said...

I just came across your blog and wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with the information you have posted here.


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Patricia Stoltey said...

Jenny -- I'm doing the conference the same way -- no pitching (which means no stress) and with the intention of picking sessions very different from my own experience. I tried a little of that last year and it was definitely energizing.

Jenny said...

Thanks, Kay. I'll look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Chandra, thanks for dropping by. We're glad you like the blog!

Pat, I'm looking forward to no pitch/no stress. And the energizing part sounds good, too.

bfav said...

I'm pitching. But my fave thing is meeting other writers as well as learning new crafting tips. Always helps.

Jenny said...

b -- good luck with your pitch!

Author101 said...

Hi, I would LOVE to go to the Conference, but do not have the ability to attend any function that is not close to home. My husband is bed ridden and i can not leave his side...so have a good time for me okay and I hope you learn a lot of neat stuff so you can come back and tell us all about it!
Cindy

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