Conference tip #2: Be Friendly!

One of the greatest things about attending conferences is getting to see all your writer friends. Maybe you're lucky enough to have a local group with whom you're going to the workshop with. So much fun! You get to talk, encourage each other, eat together. It's comfortable and easy to stick with people you know, but be careful not to err on the side of being exclusive.

Conference tip #2: Be Friendly! Don't Be Exclusive!

Many other writers are attending the conference alone. Be open to conversing with friendly people who approach you, even if they're not in your circle. They only want the same thing you do--a pleasant exchange, relief in knowing they're not the only one who feels nervous/intimidated/excited. You're talking to someone who might become a great friend, a strong supporter, a good critique partner. This person you don't know might even be on bookstore shelves one day--you don't know! (Not that you should befriend people for the potential benefits they might extend to you, but writing is a solitary act--the pecking at the keyboard and such--and it's nice to take a break and visit your friends, even if it's online.)

Remember the golden rule (lifted from the Bible): Treat others as you would have yourself treated.

Go forth and have fun, conference goers!


Mirka Breen said...

You are so right that conferences work best when we step to meet and greet people we don't already know. Not my strong suit. (Shy)

This reminded me of what someone wrote in DD's yearbook: "I don't know you but have a nice summer." When I asked her who this is, she said, "I don't know him."

Danette Haworth said...

Mirka, re: the exchange with your daughter--haha!

Tips #1 and 2 are closely related because they ask us to take a risk, step out of our comfort zones.

Charles Gramlich said...

I do find myself spending too much time at cons with folks I know. I have to keep reminding myself to reach out to new folks.

Ann Herrick said...

Going to a larger conference where you probably will not know most of the attendees is a good way to get out there and meet other writers (and maybe and editor or agent or two). Wish I could be going to a conference this year!

Danette Haworth said...

I know! There are several conferences up north I'd love to attend, but house economy tends to keep me close to home.