After the Conference: Putting It All Together

September 23, 2012

Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Just home from the annual Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference where Keynoter James L. Rubart challenged us to “take a flip” (as he flipped off a cliff into Lake Chelan) to follow where God may be leading in our writing. As always, after a conference, I feel inspired by the total immersion in story and being with other writers and can’t wait to put everything I’ve learned into practice. But, I know when I re-enter “real life,” there will be happy intrusions in my writing schedule, a family camping trip and a birthday party.

Most writers put a lot of effort into preparing for a conference but sometimes fail to follow through on the opportunities open to them in the weeks immediately following the conference.

While the details are fresh in your mind, stop and take stock of your conference experience. Sometimes  the conference environment and the ability to focus without distractions produces break-through insights.  How can you bring that fresh focus home with you? Make a list of at least 5 things you need to follow up on right away. Here’s a few from my list:

  1. Make time for your writing. Reevaluate your weekly schedule to see if you can find the extra hours you need to finish that manuscript once and for all. Make sure you aren’t sabotaging yourself with too many activities.
  2. Follow up on invitations. Did you get an invitation to submit a proposal to an editor or agent? Send it right away. Polish if you must, but promise yourself to send it within a month.
  3. Don’t be disappointed by rejection. If you did not get an invitation to submit your proposal or you got word that your book wasn’t right for the publishing house you’d been hoping for, did you get feedback about how to improve your manuscript? Choose to see this as an opportunity to learn to be the best writer you can be.
  4. Is there something new you can try? Did you hear about a new magazine that is looking for personal interest articles? Send at least one query this week.
  5. Encourage writing community. Is there someone you should send a thank-you note to for their encouragement? While you’re at it, write a note to the new friend you made in coaching class to let him or her know you are praying for them and their writing journey.

How about you? How do you make the most of the weeks following a conference?



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3 Responses to “After the Conference: Putting It All Together”

  1. Jan cline Says:

    I especially agree with trying something new you heard about at the conference. But I think most attendees, even though they are inspired, don’t follow through with new ideas. I like going over my notes and picking out the points that I know I can implement in my writing.
    Great post conference advice!

  2. Lindy Jacobs Says:

    Thanks, Jan. I’m trying to keep my own good advice during National Novel Writing Month.

  3. Hannah Says:

    Very practical advice!