Since I shared Queen Cathy’s Conference What Not to Do’s, I thought it only fair to share what a writing conference does best. It makes you do. (Hmmm. That sounded better in my head, too.)
What I’m thinking about is that line from Jedi Master Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
When you attend a writing conference, you talk to other writers, mostly about writing. You hear about their ups and downs, but mostly, you hear the success stories. And you listen to presenters tell their tales, and let’s face it. They wouldn’t be presenting if they hadn’t succeeded in something writerly. Maybe you’ll hear a long, winding tale of success. Or perhaps a tale of serendipitous success. But the moral of the story is the same: if you keep writing and working, you will succeed.
So, today I mailed a manuscript that I’ve been intending to send to an editor for months. Because when I stepped in to hear the conference presentation by Michelle Poploff (Random House Children’s Books), I knew right then, the whole conference was worth those forty minutes or so. When I heard her tell her stories, of how other writers had found success, I thought that could be me. But only if I stopped thinking in terms of “try.”
This Friday, I found something freeing, and a little scary. I found that it was time to do. So, I did.