Here is the 57th installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do. I put this together after observing other conference attendees in action at a recent writer’s conference I attended. Hope you enjoy
Top Ten Things Not to do if You Attend a Writer’s Conference
10. If you attend a writer’s conference, do not think you need to impress the faculty with your knowledge of the writing craft. If you do, at best you will sound ridiculous teaching best-selling authors about writing. At worst, one of the best-selling authors may ask you how many books you have sold.
9. If you attend a writer’s conference, do not volunteer to be the first to read your story out loud. If you do, at best you will finish your reading and no one will applaud since you obviously did not hear the instructions. At worst, you will finish your reading and the instructor will use you as the example of what not to read aloud.
8. If you attend a writer’s conference, do not continually ask questions in the form of personal anecdotes. If you do, at best you will demonstrate to faculty and fellow attendees how insecure you really are in your writing. At worst, you may find the faculty intentionally ignoring your raised hand during Q&A to the delight of your fellow authors.
7. If you attend a writer’s conference, do not think one of the agents attending will remember and represent you if you try to monopolize their time. If you do, at best you might find that agent has decided to go home early and will remember you forever. At worst, the agent will believe you to be a stalker and report you to the police and remember you forever.
6. If you attend a writer’s conference, do not try to maneuver yourself next to best-selling authors at the social events. If you do, at best you will eventually be discovered and the authors will know you for a not so good reason. At worst, you will be the laughing-stock at the faculty gathering prior to each event which will result in an informal shunning procedure.
5. If you attend a writer’s conference, do not believe you become even more interesting to best-selling authors after too many glasses of wine. If you do, at best you will be the only one at the conference who believes you to be a serious author. At worst, you may just go over the line and need help getting to your room which will leave a lasting impression on all those who witness the event as well as those who may not want to sign a contract with someone who has a drinking problem.
4. If you attend a writer’s conference, do not jump to the front of the serving lines to be the first to grab your food so you will be ready to squeeze into the spot next to John Lescroart. If you do, at best you may have the conference attendees believing you have some kind of eating disorder. At worst, you might be sending a message to the conference that you will do all most anything to get ahead and will be able to count with one finger the number of people who might be willing to help you
3. If you attend a writer’s conference, do not assume all the conference attendees can learn from your experience. If you do, at best you will eventually have difficulty finding people who will talk to you. At worst, you might be really humiliated when you discover the attendees you are trying to impress have signed with major publishing houses and dearly want to stay away from you.
2. If you attend a writer’s conference, do not think others will be impressed by your numbers of followers on social media. If you do you, at best you may find out some successful authors do not personally do social media and will not be impressed. At worst, you will find that your numbers no matter how large are still smaller than others in attendance.
1. If you attend a writer’s conference, do not promise to send e-mails and to keep in touch after the conference and then fail to do so. If you do, at best the attendees will forget about you and it will be your loss. At worst, you will be remembered as one who doesn’t follow through and at some point in the future you may have to live down that trait.