I did something today I've been considering for quite a long time. I registered for a writers' conference.
I know this is something that many websites and books advise writers to do, but until now, I haven't felt it was the right time or the right conference. There have been several meetings in Florida, but most of them are skewed to local writers or to a specific genre that doesn't match my own.
Last month, I realized that Romance Writers of America had its big annual conference right here in Orlando. I'm not a member of RWA, since what I write isn't strictly speaking romance, but the more I read, the more I realized it might have been a good move to attend that meeting. It would have been so close to home! It was too late to register by the time I heard about it, but this was a wake-up call to me: it's time to make this move.
I began researching conferences, conventions and meetings. One of them really stood out: the Backspace Agent-Author Seminar, in New York City in November. What really struck me was that this seminar doesn't have the typical author-agent pitch sessions, where the author tries desperately to sell her manuscript; instead, Backspace offers mixers and workshops where the authors can get to know the agents and vice verse. The idea is that authors will have a better grip on which agents they should query, and agents will potentially meet new authors.
This impresses me, and it's also a better fit for my own personality. What clinched it was seeing the list of agents involved: there were many familiar names on the list, agents I hope to query or have seen on Twitter or in other blogs.
So I've screwed up my courage and registered, and it appears that I'll be flying to NYC in November.