Thursday, May 5, 2011

On Friends And Conference Pants

I went to Pikes Peak Writers Conference this past weekend, so my brain is still a little foggy from all the information and talking. Remember my hermit status for the past few weeks? Going to a conference after that is like rolling out of bed and jumping into a cold ocean on a January morning.

My first conference ever was one a little bit like this one: you get to pitch, to editors and agents! So back then, I dressed nicely, in my conference pants, and carried a bag with my manuscript and fancy business cards. I was a Writer, ready to meet Publishing Professionals.

Of course by now, five manuscripts and as many years later, I'm not so fancy anymore. I've traded in my conference pants (they were kind of itchy, to tell you the truth) for my trusty jeans, the ones without the holes, and I've embraced my less fancy side. Because over these years of conference-going I figured out: it's not the editors and agents that will remember you years later, it's your fellow writers. I tell my fellow conference attendees this, especially the fanciest-dressed ones. If you're walking and talking for three days, you really want to be comfortable, trust me. You won't get a book contract because of your conference pants.

At PPW conference, I was surprised to find how many writer friends I really had, ones who were (very loudly at times :-) tooting my horn for me. Plus I made some new friends, and I even learned a ton of new stuff.

Biggest lesson: I have to come out of my writing cave more often. Sure, it's comfy to hide out with your snacks and notebooks, but it's really fun to meet your writer peeps. And a heads-up: looks like Pikes Peak Writers Conference is going to really knock your socks off next year, so consider coming out.

How 'bout you, my writer pals? Any favorite conferences/conventions you've been to?

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