Have you even been to a writers conference? I started going to conferences last year. I was so excited, but had no idea what to expect. I signed up to pitch and read the workshop calendar daily, in anticipation of the event. I bought the perfect outfit, since I hoped to make a good first impression. I wanted to approach my new role as a writer in a positive way. I decided to be myself, and not try to be something I was not. It can be intimidating to go to a function where you don't know anyone, and I certainly felt insecure.
The conference was an informative and exciting two day affair. When I entered the lobby to register, my hands shook with nervous energy. There were keynote speakers scheduled to appear at the breakfast and luncheon gatherings, who were New York Times bestsellers. The conference corridor was decorated with colorful balloons,and the greeters sat at tables with bright red tablecloths. There were posters of authors I recognized lined up along the walls, and it seemed like I walked into a dream. It was wonderful to finally find a place where everyone understood one another, and shared a common desire.
The speakers gave us a glimpse of their journey to publication and offered encouragement adding a humorous approach. I found a group of friendly people, who were motivational and supportive. I made new friends, and a few of us went to workshops together, and relaxed in a lounge area sharing our ideas. My first conference was a memorable experience. I chatted with multi-published best-selling authors. I exchanged ideas with agents and sat in on panel discussions. The award ceremony opened our eyes to what could be, if we continued to learn, and never gave up. There was a book fair that was open to the public, where you could get a signed copy of your favorite authors newest release. So, there's something for everyone at a conference.
On the last night there was a celebration where you could unwind, kick off your shoes and dance or sing along with the karaoke. It was a fun way to end the night .The music was awesome and I had a blast. The warm reception I received from the writing community was comforting, and I knew that I found the place where I belonged. I was welcomed by newcomers and embraced by published authors. It is never easy when you branch out of your comfort zone. First impressions are rewarding when you approach them with honesty and sincerity. We're all in this crazy world together, so try something new today.