Post by Jenny
It’s conference week! To help you all get in the spirit, I’d like to offer these dandy quotes, and the tips they inspire, to help you have a great NCW conference experience.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.—Mark Twain.
Thank you, Mr. Twain, for reminding everyone to please wear clothes to the conference. You won’t get in otherwise. Plus, there’s no place to pin your nametag. When dressing, do take the business casual suggestion seriously, especially if you are hoping to make connections. And bring a sweater. Regardless of the temperature outside, hotels are always cold.
Having courage does not mean we are unafraid.—Maya Angelou
It’s okay to feel tremulous when approaching an editor or reading your page for an agent. But do it anyway. You’ll be so glad you did.
I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.—Stephen King
Don’t apologize for what you write. If you love writing it, someone else will love reading it.
Nothing leads so straight to futility as literary ambitions without systematic knowledge.—H. G. Wells
Learn as much as you can. Listen fully. Take notes. Ask (succinct) questions. If you’re in a session that’s not a good fit for you, feel free to move on to another. Attending a conference is about taking the steps that will help you become a better writer.
Let your literary compositions be kept from the public eye for nine years at least.—Horace
Okay, that nine year thing isn’t set in stone, but if an industry professional suggests that your project isn’t quite ready, don’t feel bad. S/he has given you the opportunity to make it even better, and you will appreciate it later. I promise.
Be curious, not judgmental.—Walt Whitman
I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate.
Finally, for general inspiration:
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.—Agatha Christie
I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.—E.B.White
What helps you get the most out of a writer’s conference?