Returning from a conference: wonderful people, great presenters, good news and bad news.
While at conference last week, it was such a joy to meet so many wonderful participants. I learned I need to smile more when I first arrive, otherwise I have a scary face! Yikes! Well, here’s the scoop on that. I am petrified when I’m in a new circumstance. So I people watch for a while until I fell comfy. Then I don’t stop smiling, OR talking. But I need to learn to smile while I’m doing the “getting comfy” bit.
Second, I met a few new industry individuals, wonderful folks with plenty to share.
The good news is they are always looking for wonderful new voices and are anxious to look at new authors.
The bad news is, while they are open to newbies, there are getting to be fewer and fewer established houses handling fiction. I learned of another house dropping the fiction line while I was there. And that is so discouraging.
So what does all of this mean to new authors? It means there has never been a time when your writing needs to be tighter, filled with more punch, and ready to go. It means you can’t expect the publishing house to do the work for you. It means…you MUST know your craft like never before.
Is that something to make you sit back and lament your career choice? NO! It is a wake up call. You should be learning and doing what you should have been doing all along—writing a strong novel and writing it well.