You may or may not believe this, but no one asked me to write this post. This is not a paid advertisement, and no kitty cats were harmed in the writing of this article.
Many aspiring authors attend writing conferences. Lots of them. There are events all over the country to inspire and inform writers, to help them network and negotiate their way to more lucrative and successful careers.
I’m not interested in attending any of them.
Not that I have anything against writer’s conferences per se. I’ve heard amazing stories about writers meeting the perfect agent or the publisher of their dreams at these events. I’ve seen the photo ops and the live tweets and wondered how much fun they’re having. But if you’ve ever partied with me more than a couple hours, you know that I simply can’t keep up. There is no way I can people that long.
I have attended one or two such events, and the politics of it all is too exhausting. I’m not interested in proving to you that my message is better than yours; it’s not. And I’m not impressed with the girl across the table that has to name drop every other sentence; that makes me sick. I am too busy and too focused and too tired to compete, to prove things, and to play popularity games. So the group dynamics of it all just doesn’t appeal to me one iota.
So, when the prevailing wisdom about how to land a great agent and secure a good publishing contract says that one must attend writer’s conferences, my strategy is to find a different way. Any other way.
I’ve self-published. I’ve self-represented to traditionally publish. And now that I’ve taken my writing career as far as my meager skills will take me, I’m looking for an agent for my next epically awesome work (are you interested in representing me? Let’s talk). I’m not a novice anymore, but there is a lot to learn.
I needed a writing conference that was just about . . . writing.
The mechanics of writing. The business of writing. The career and the marathon and the ministry of writing. Not the club or the clique or the glamor, just the nitty-gritty daily grind.
So I attended the Book Launch Mentor Writing Intensive.
For one week, I hunkered down all day Monday through Friday with ten other dedicated writers and one experienced veteran. Mary DeMuth of Book Launch Mentor has published over 30 books (just think about that for a minute. If you’ve ever nearly killed yourself writing and promoting just one, you realize what a super woman she is). And she poured out her knowledge and experience, explaining how to survive and even thrive in today’s market.
We learned a lot. She covered so many topics in our fast-paced, concentrated sessions:
- the mechanics that make good writing stand out
- how to ruthlessly edit your own writing
- time management skills to accomplish your goals in real life
- strategies to maintain mental clarity
- how to cultivate your own unique voice . . . and recognize it when it comes
- the process of writing an entire book from concept to publication
- advice for sharing your own story, even when it hurts
- professional queries and proposals
- marketing and branding without being sleazy
- online writing and social media
- and even more
Because this is such a unique conference taught by a uniquely gifted writer, it attracted different people. Writers committed to a redemptive message. Writers motivated by changing hearts and minds, not celebrity. Writers reaching out for relationships, not fame. Because of those common goals, we built deep relationships right from the start. One of the attendees said, “This is like church camp! I never want it to end, and I’m going to hug everyone and cry and ask for their address!” And that’s exactly what happened. We made life-long friendships.
I found my real people.
So if you are a writer or want to be a writer or are working on one of the first books of your career, do consider attending Book Launch Mentor’s Writing Intensive. It could change your career for the better.