My Writing Book of the Day: Letters to a Fiction Writer, edited by Frederick Busch. Letters from great writers like Ray Bradbury, Raymond Carver, Flannery O’Connor…This isn’t so much a how-to book, but it’s a book full of lessons, to be sure. Quick quote: “The one thing I know about envy is that it comes and goes. It doesn’t come because you’re unregarded and it doesn’t go because you’re swathed in glitz.” It’s fun and instructive eavesdropping on all these writers! (I’m sharing a favorite writing book every day for a bit in case you need ideas for your holiday gift list–or want to buy a gift for yourself!)
After the Convention
I’ve blogged about generosity at conventions, “Is it worth it for a writer to go to IRA?” (or any of the big conventions), and setting goals for conventions. There’s another thing to do to make your conference experience more meaningful: Follow up!
If you meet your goals and get out there and connect with people at the conference, congratulations! But don’t stop there! But make those connections count by following up. Whether you’ve connected with other writers, or with editors/marketing personnel, or with educators/librarians, you have more to do. You might think you’ll remember everyone you met, and you’ll have no trouble remembering what you told other people (or yourself) you would do…but you won’t. At least, I don’t! So I keep a little running list of what I need to do after the conference. Here’s part of my list from Vegas.
Some of these notes are just work things I need to remember to do based on emails I received while I was out of town. But I also noted emails I needed to send, permissions I needed to ask for before sharing videos, thank you notes I wanted to write, etc. I try to follow up on everything within two weeks after a conference. If I let it go longer than that, I either lose momentum or it starts to feel awkward to get in touch with people. I will confess I have two more people I want to email, people I was introduced to at the conference that I wanted to just say, “Nice to meetcha!” But I’m writing this on Sunday, and I’m vowing that by the time it runs on Wednesday, I will have done those two emails.
Addendum: I did those two emails this morning. Boy, there’s something to be said for public accountability:>)