The first time I attended a writing conference I fully expected to be tracked down and tackled by a publisher and forced to sign a gimongous contract because the publisher could not live without manuscript.
Although I learned amazing tips and met even more extraordinary people, I confess that my expectations were not met. I also confess that even though I have learned to set more appropriate (focused and specific) expectations when I am about to attend a conference – of any type – I still harbor that deep dream that I will be tackled by a publisher at one of these writing conferences.
We always need to keep dreaming!
A few years back I worked with a business coach as I prepared to invest in my biggest event to-date. He challenged me to write down why I was participating in the event, what I wanted to get out of the event, and how I would measure the return of my investment in the event.
Since that time, I have used the same questions to count the cost of every event that I attend. Even if the event is free, my time and my transportation are a cost. I have to determine if that investment will make a difference in my journey.
Preparing for the Mountain Valley Writers Conference
1. Why are you participating in the event? Something in your own journey on in some of the information that has been shared caught your eye. It made you want to learn more or know more. What is that something?
2. What do you want from the conference? #MVWC will be offering valuable information for those that are working at writing already and those that want to be working as writers. We will also be focused on building and growing relationships – because it is ALL about relationships. *link* No matter what is on the agenda, you have an expectation. What is your expectation for what you will walk away with when you leave the conference at the end of the weekend?
3. How will you measure the success of the event? You will have to make an investment – not just financially but in your time (and time is one of those resources you will not be able to grow more of) so you need to determine what elements you need to justify your investments.
Sitting down and getting these understandings in place before I attend a conference makes it easier for me to enjoy the conference. I know what elements I need to be pursuing to make the ends justify the means. I have a check list (or at least a guideline) of what I want to see in and from the experience.
Taking the time to judge the journey before pulling out into traffic can keep me moving forward and on target.
Are you ready for the Mountain Valley Writers Conference?