My First Writer’s Digest Conference #WDC17
I wanted to share with you some things that I learned about myself after attending my first, ever, Writer’s Conference.
1. I am a “pantser,” no not a German tank, I suppose I “fly by the seat of my pants.” I am the type of writer who writes without a plan. Those other more organized writers are known as “plotters.” Still, I went to the sessions which tried to train me to conform to their charts and outlines and I did come away with some interesting tools that I will use in my own way. But probably not until I have exhausted my muse and just want to make sure that the manuscript is ready before I send it to an agent.
2. I am not a memorizer, and I cannot memorize a pitch to save my life (especially after it has changed twenty times in two days). So I was left with two choices, either I could read my pitch to the agent or I could wing it. Guess which I did? Yep, I’m a pantser after all, I winged it.
3. I am too nice to people. There was one agent who accepted my contact on Linkedin, so even though she was not a perfect match for me on paper, I waited in her line (the longest line by far that I had to wait in) to give her my pitch. She smiled and said she liked my book but she already had too many WWII stories, so no thank you. No thank you? What? I just wasted ten minutes of my precious time in your line trying to be nice! Oh well, on to the next agent as my pitch time dwindles way too quickly.
4. I can expect to live this roller coaster for the rest of my life. One author on a panel explained that there will always be something to worry about along the path of my chosen career. It won’t matter how far along that path I get, there will always be a next step that will cause me stress and worry. If I get an agent, will they be able to sell my book to an editor? If an editor takes on my book, will it sell? If it sells, will it get good reviews? In spite of it getting good reviews, will the reading public lose interest? Will my agent and/or editor stay with me for my next book or will I be back to square one?
5. I am a writer for better or worse. The conference was a roller-coaster and some speakers brought me to great heights of imagining my success while others dropped me back to reality. Sometimes it was even the same speaker, just in a different session!
But after it all, I will continue on this path because it is who I am. And without knowing how it ends . . . the pantser that I am, will keep writing.
Theresa Dodaro is the author of The Tin Box Trilogy. You can follow her on Twitter @TheresaDodaro