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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

I love January. I love fresh starts. I love clean slates. It's the resolutions that I tend to flake out on. The idea behind new year's resolutions is inspiring and every year, I set goals for myself. I admit that sometimes I fall short, but I'm always glad I tried.

This year, I gave myself a present knowing full well that it would push me to achieve many of my new year's resolutions. I signed up for a writer's conference. Not only will this help me in many of my current projects and pursuits, but there's nothing like a money investment to increase your commitment level. :)

I'm beyond excited. Last year I attended this same conference, the LDStorymakers and loved it. I met Angie there, which was, in and of itself -- awesome! We became critique partners, started this blog, and formed a friendship. I'm so grateful for that blessing. She's amazing, but of course you all know that!

However, I was unprepared for the conference. I signed up on a whim. I had always written and only dreamed of being published. Then I found myself asking, 'What if ...?" What if I could write and actually publish? What if I could become an author? What if I could become better at something I really love?

So, I jumped in with both feet, and signed up for the conference at the last minute. I loved it. I enjoyed every class and filled my mind until it was ready to burst. This year, I signed up earlier in the hopes that I might prepare myself more and get the most I can out of it.

For those of you who have been to this, or other writing conferences, what proved to be the most beneficial? Boot Camp? First Chapter contest? Classes? Pitch session? Or d-all of the above? I am just curious to hear what worked for you and what you would recommend.

Thanks everyone and Happy New Year! By the way, another gift I gave to myself this year was The Hunger Games. I haven't read it yet, (I know - Crazy) but will be cracking that book open the moment I publish this post!! Yes, I'm freaking out a little bit!

--Sara

17 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

That's awesome that you signed up for the conference. I enjoy meeting other writers and I always learn something.

You'll love The Hunger Games.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I've been to a few conferences and my objectives are usually different, depending on where I am writing-wise at the time. I've gone and just sat in on workshops and lectures. I've pitched an agent. I've subbed the beginning of a manuscript for a critique by an agent/editor. One year, I even entered the conference's contest.

My suggestion would be to think about what you most want to get out of the conference - networking, shopping your work, learning, etc. - and plan from there.

I hope you have the rest of the Hunger Games trilogy handy because you are not going to want to stop! :)

Angela Cothran said...

I better sign up soon! I loved Storymakers. I think meeting the other authors was my favorite part (you of course :) But aside from that, the classes on craft were the most helpful.

I love buying myself books for Christmas. My husband got me a Kindle. I think I have put on about 20 books :)

Kelley said...

I need to sign up for a conference. I hear such wonderful things.

Have fun with The Hunger Games. Great books.

Cassie Mae said...

I want to go to that conference so bad! Have to convince the hubs to let me spend the money though, lol.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

The Hunger Games series is awesome. ;) And I thought the whole conference was a amazing. I didn't do a pitch session or anything, but I thought all the classes were awesome. They helped me the most. And I loved meeting other bloggers face to face! :)

Emily R. King said...

Enjoy The Hunger Games, and good for you for jumping into that conference last year! It looks as though lots of greatness has come of it.
Best of wishes to you in 2012!

Angela Brown said...

You are SOOO right. A monetary investment tends to light a fire like no other. I wish you the best as you work towards accomplishing your goals and preparing for the conference.

I loved The Hunger Games. Just recently got the other two books in the series. Crossing my fingers they are as good as the first.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Yay! I'll be at Storymakers this year, too! It will be fun to see you there, Sara :). I'm so curious to see what people find useful.

Leigh Covington said...

Read it Sara - READ! And don't stop until you're done with book 3! You're going to love it! Awesome goals this year! I will hopefully get to meet you in person at Storymakers! YAY!

Brooke said...

I haven't read Hunger Games either - but maybe I will join you! I started a biography on George Washington, my hero, but I'd love to read some fiction as well (even though everyone I know has already read it!)

I keep reading these posts about going to the conference, and it sounds amazing. Do you go for both days?

Deana said...

Yay Sara! I'm so happy you gave yourself that present. Now maybe I will get to meet you:) And the Hunger Games...great present! I can't wait until the movie in March:)

Melissa Sarno said...

Happy new year Sara! I'm thinking of going to my first writer's conference this year and this inspired me to get on the ball early. Enjoy the Hunger Games!

Kim said...

Sara - last year I attended Storymakers for the first time, too, and it really changed my writing life :) I met the wonderful Shelly Brown, who helped connect me virtually with so many other writers.
I did Boot Camp last year, and am doing it again this time. It was my favorite part of the conference. Terrifying, but very helpful...

Peggy Eddleman said...

I love Storymakers!! I did boot camp last year and loved it. They have a publication primer this year that sounds even more awesome. I did a pitch session last year with Sara Crowe, and she is now my agent. Two others who pitched to her also signed with her. The master classes are fabulous, too. I did the first chapter contest two tears ago, and got some valuable feedback! It's all worth it. Just decide what parts mean the most to you, and explore them to the fullest. I'm so excited for you!! (For Storymakers AND The Hunger Games. :))

Faith said...

A conference! That's an exciting gift for yourself, enjoy it!

I LOVE The Hunger Games, hope you enjoy it! I did all three books in a week.

Angela Ackerman said...

Good for you! One of my goals is to get to a Writing Conference this year. It's been too long since the last one. :) They are wonderful to experience and there is so much that can be learned from them. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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