When I started writing, I did just that. I sat in my room and wrote a 75k word book in ten days. Then I sent it to a couple who reads that genre to find out their impressions. And I sent it to a few other people. One person said they loved it. Another said they thought it was good but that the characters needed more depth. A third said she was bored because there was no character arc.
I don’t remember how I heard about Writing For Charity, but somehow I did. I talked a little about it with my husband and he thought I should go. I woke up that Saturday morning of the conference decidedly against it. But, with a little pressure from the other half, I went. And discovered I knew very little about writing. And met some of the most wonderful ladies who invited me into their critique group.
Since then I’ve devoured craft books on writing, books in the genres I’ve considered writing in, critiqued numerous submissions from both my critique group and from others, and attended more writing conferences. Last year I attended the LDStorymakers conference and garnered two full requests for my regency romance. I met dozens of people who I now consider friends. And this year I have a meeting with an agent who will have read over the query letter and first ten pages of my book. I’m really excited to hear what she has to say.
I’m also taking two-hour writing classes from NYT Best-selling author Jennifer Nielsen, amazing writer of emotion Carol Lynch Williams, and NYT Best-selling author Brandon Sanderson. I’m taking one-hour classes from agents Josh Adams of Adams Literary, Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency, Marisa Corvisiero of the Corvisiero agency, and best-selling author Dan Wells (there are other agent-taught classes that I have to miss because of my two-hour classes).
Writing conferences are about networking, about meeting people like you, about learning from the best. They’re amazing opportunities to pitch your book (and yourself) to editors and agents. And you walk away feeling empowered as an author. Other than writing, it’s the best place for authors to be. What conferences are near you? Some of them may even be free.