Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Now what?

Photo by Leona St. Louis

By Ronda Simmons

It's conference season. Maybe you hit NCW's Writer Conference Extraordinaire. Perhaps you attended Denver's Comic Con, not really a conference, but chock full of writing seminars. Or you may be heading to New York in August to tackle the mac daddy Writer's Digest Conference. 

Picture this. You've just returned home from a writing conference. You met cool people, attended awesome sessions, and maybe even you pitched your latest masterpiece.

Now what?

Here are some essential steps to take after a conference:

  • Write thank yous. Send a thank you to the agents you pitched, the presenters you enjoyed and, of course, the conference staff who worked so hard to organize the event. I would also suggest that you go the extra mile and write quick messages to the other writers you met and maybe even those that you only see once a year. These people are your tribe. Consider, at the very least, following them on Twitter or friending them on Facebook. 
    A fountain pen next to a red thank you card

  • Organize your receipts. When Uncle Sam comes knocking next April you'll be glad you did this. There are some links below with more information on what is allowed and what is not. (Bear in mind that I am in no way qualified to give legal advice!) Even if you don't itemize your taxes, these receipts could be invaluable when your manuscript gets picked up by one of the Big Five publishers. 

Death and Taxes, baby, they come to us all

  • Organize your conference notes. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and read through them. More than likely you jotted down websites to look up, books to check out of the library and suggestions that will make your novel soar. Don't lose that information. 
Vinyl records lined up on the shelf of a music store

  • Take the NCW's post-conference survey. April Moore and the rest of the NCW staff will soon be planning next year's conference. Let them know what you liked, and any suggestions you have that could have made the weekend even better. Don't worry if you think your input is too late, any feedback is valuable.

A number of Japanese maneki-neko figurines depicting a beckoning white cat
Everyone who loved the 2018 NCW Conference, raise your hand!

Conferences are hard work. Take the time you need to recover, then get back to work!

A macro view of a cocktail whiskey drink in a glass cup
The struggle is real, recover any way you want to!

For more on this topic, check out the following:


shenke said...

Excellent peace, Rhonda! I just pulled out notes from Whitney Davises editing session last week on the river. I actually did get some editing done – very little with the bumpy ride but it was worth the effort. I’ve already followed up by writing her a thank you for the notes and thank you for the advice!

shenke said...

Editing skills be damned! Whitney Davis’s or is it Davis’ Hah!

Ronda Simmons said...

Your comments crack me up, Sheala! You were dictating, right? Or did you mean to be zen on the river and wishing us all "Excellent Peace!" Wishing Excellent Peace to all of us as we move into full on summer.

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