Nothing compares to standing in a room with over 300 other people who are just as crazy as you are! That's what it's like at the DFW Writer's Conference. You have to admit, writers are a rare breed with vivid imaginations, interesting personalities, and more enthusiasm than a pack of six-year-olds at Disney!
This was my second year at the conference and it was an amazing experience, even better than the first. I was better prepared this year for all of the exciting events and information, knowing what to expect. It was interesting to find that the "theme" for this years conference seemed to be: "Don't dwell on one project for too long." While it wasn't the official theme, the statement certainly hit home with me.
Last year, I came to the conference with one book that I had been working on over and over for years, beating the poor thing to death to the point that it no longer resembled anything I'd set out to accomplish. Since then, I've set that project aside and wrote as much as I could. As a result, I have completed two more books and two partials which has helped my writing to grow. It also gave me more to present to agents this year.
Another other lesson that hit home with me was patience. Many writers come to a conference with the dream that an agent will pick up their first book and become an instant success. The truth of the matter is that most writers' first books suck! Many published authors will attest to that. Writing is like a fine wine, it improves with age. The more you write, the better you get.
I'm sure my own writing still has a long way to go, but I can certainly see where I've improved and where I still need to improve. It certainly helped having such amazing classes and knowledgeable instructors at the conference. They presented great information that I know will help me to hone my craft.
The biggest lesson for me, and possibly the most important, is networking and collaboration. You can't do it alone. As a writer, you need people who understand the craft and can provide feedback and encouragement. The most successful writers aren't necessarily the ones who had the best writing, they simply didn't give up. Sometimes you need encouragement from others to help you see that you can accomplish your dreams.
Another wonderful conference brought to you by the DFW Writer's Workshop! Thank you to James Rollins for providing a great keynote address and information to those of us who walk in his shadow. Thanks to all the agents who came to share the wealth of their knowledge. Thanks so much to the members of the DFW Writer's Workshop for all your hard work and dedication, this is truly something that will change lives for many of us!
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