Tales of a Writers’ Conference Newbie – Preparation

As I let you know last month, I shall be attending the Pike’s Peak Writers’ Conference this weekend.

The terror, it remains.

Luckily, my compatriots in crime Ian and Anne shall be with me, and hopefully I can just remember that confidence is a self-fulfilling prophecy and not spend the entire time hiding behind fake potted plants in the hotel lobby.

I have no reason to be scared, right?  I mean, I have finished drafts, I have experience submitting, I keep up to date on the industry.

It’s just…my mom went to one of these about ten years ago, was told she had no talent, and stopped writing.  I don’t want that to be me.  (And honestly, I liked that story, and at the time, I was the right age range for it.)

Fears and panicking aside, I have been working on getting ready.  The story I’ve been submitting on and off has a new (much better, if my readers are to be believed) first chapter.  I hope to do a basic edit of the rest of the story and perhaps a rewrite of the second half of the last chapter before this weekend, but that’s probably pushing it.

I’ve printed out the schedule and tentatively selected panels to attend.  (Unfortunately, many overlap.  Perhaps Ian, Anne, and I can divide and conquer.)    I’ve made a list of things that need to be done before this weekend.  I wish I could say it’s getting done in a timely fashion but no, no.

I have yet to write my pitch, but that is the goal for today.

I know this is going to be a good experience.  I know I need to use it to its fullest potential.

I just wish the nagging panic would go away.

(P.S.  If someone has experience with this sort of thing, what is proper attire?  Should I take business casual stuff, something more formal, jeans?  Help!)

11 responses to this post.

  1. I still need to look at the handbook for events. 99 pages!! And they DON’T describe everything??? Frazamagrazima frickty frack

    I’m going with work casual. Which reminds me…laundry.


  2. First – Spazz out, freak out and have your panic attack now. Get it out of your system, honor it and then squash the insecurity monster!

    Been there! So been there! I attended my first big-ass-scary-as-all-hell writer’s conference this past Feb. San Francisco Writer’s Conference with the added threat of speed dating with agents, spent nearly half a month’s salary on the registration and…

    It was worth every moment of panic, of questioning my own sanity and my ability as a writer. I went by myself and wished I had people I could tag team topics with. There was tons of wickedly motivating information, that got me so jazzed that my brother finally accepted that I could do this “whole writing thing” professionally.

    Clothing? Wear it, it helps with the freak out =) Business casual is always acceptable, bring something nice for the social (to make yourself more confident) and go talk to everyone!!!!! Don’t forget to have contact info to share with people who find you interesting. It’ll happen, trust me.

    As for the person who told your mom she had no talent, they lied. You know better than to let some dumb…yeah, well I’m about to do that whole gone well past R rated language moment. People are goofy, it takes only one insult to ruin seven compliments. We are far too willing to see only our faults, so for the conference KNOCK IT OFF! You can pick them back up after you get home, if you absolutely must.

    Have a great time and all this other “stuff” that’s been bogging you down…well, you’ll see.



  3. *squee*


    I’m so terrified that I feel euphoric. I’ve looked over my wardrobe two dozen times and decided none of it is good enough. There’s no time to do ANYTHING but freak out! Le chic!


  4. For the small local writers conference I went to last year, I wore business casual, and spend the drive there singing along to a They Might Be Giants CD to get my voice warmed up for talking to people and get my mind into a confident headspace. (That’s what I do before job interviews too.)

    Whatever you wear, make sure it’s COMFORTABLE, especially shoes. I recommend layers, so you don’t have to sweat in long sleeves if it’s sweltering or shiver in short sleeves if the AC is on high.

    Have fun!!!


  5. Found this while I was reading a newsletter =)


    Warning: the above link is not for the faint of heart and may induce a secondary panic attack.



  6. Best of luck to the three of you this weekend!


  7. […] year, I went to my first writers’ conference – Pike’s Peak, down in Colorado Springs, CO. To summarize, I was terrified […]


  8. […] year, I went to my first writers’ conference – Pike’s Peak, down in Colorado Springs, CO. To summarize, I was terrified […]


  9. […] Tales of a Writers Conference Newbie – Preparation […]


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