The first time I'd attended a writer's conference I had only been writing about six months. I worried that more than one publisher would like my stuff. How could I say no to one over another? I was VASTLY disappointed.
The main thing I learned at this conference is how much I had to learn. I attended workshops. I took lots of notes. I listened more than I spoke. I met with a few editors, but again ... I listened. And I also met a lot of other writers who I built friendships with.
The next year I have to admit that I was again worried about what I'd do if more than one publisher was interested in my stuff. You'd think I would have learned! The truth was I HAD learned a lot in that year. I thought I was ready for publication. I'd grown a lot, but not far enough. Again I attended workshops. I took lots of notes. I listened more than I spoke. I met with a few editors, but again I .... listened. And I also met a lot of other writers who I built friendship with. (Sound familiar?) This second year I also started an email prayer group with some of the writer's I met. These friendships deepened. They are still dear to me.
By the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh year (you get the picture), I was starting to realize what conferences are about. They are about learning and connecting. NOT about selling. At each conference I prayed for divine appointments, and sometimes I didn't understand until years later how these appointments would play out.
I also learned that editors 1) are real people, 2) are only human, 3) and are biased. Each one likes what he/she likes. But they are also 1) insightful, 2) wise, and 4) helpful ... if you can take the time to glean information from them.
Even though I've written fourteen books and hundreds of articles I still try to listen more than I talk and learn as much as I can.
Stop Lurking! Every week I will draw names for a free Tricia Goyer book from those who comment on my blogs. Winner's choice! Tell your friends! Last week's winner was Cindi Choppes who left a comment on the GenX Parenting blog! Thank you for un-lurking! Send me your book choice and mailing address!