It’s been said that joining writing events and conferences is a must for aspiring writers.
I have done my part and joined writers’ festivals, conferences and various sessions. So far, I’ve learned a lot of things from the ones I joined. It was money well spent.
What I learned
But there were also things that were quite confusing. To be honest, if you ask different literary agents and different publishers what they want you to do, their instructions vary.
They vary a lot.
Some say build an author platform. That it doesn’t matter.
Some say they don’t care whether your spacing is two or 1.5. Or that they don’t read the first page if it’s not exactly how they specified it.
Some have different opinions about query letters and cover letters and marketing plans.
It gets confusing.
But one thing they all agree on is good writing. For writers to get their attention the project has to be well written.
So now I’ve made a decision. I am limiting what sessions to join. I need to be pickier with how to spend my time. It’ll only be for ones that help me improve my writing. I don’t want to know about trends and processes until I get the writing done well. Otherwise, what’s the point?
As for networking possibilities, I’m not sure they even work. Yes, you get their names and have a chat but it doesn’t mean they’ll read your manuscript. You still have to go through proper channels. And if your manuscript is crap, again, what’s the point?
All the author interviews I’ve read say the same thing – just do it. Write. Read. Write. Read. Some have writing groups, some don’t like writing groups. Some hire editors, some don’t. It’s all really varied.
And it takes a lot of time.
Time that’s meant to be spent writing and learning how to write better. One author said people who talk about writing do the least amount of writing.
So from now on, more writing, less socialising. Doesn’t’ mean I won’t. It just means I’ll be choosing the sessions much better.