Let’s go back in time to a year ago. I was just about to attend my first writer’s conference (The Muse and the Marketplace–totally rad) and hadn’t yet finished revising my Very First Manuscript. I was starry-eyed, intimidated, and completely clueless. I’d been writing in my little bubble, with the encouragement of my amazing friends/beta readers, but knew no other writers.
Ignoring for a moment all of the other awesome things that happened that day (Meeting Lois Lowry! A fellow (very young) writer telling me out of the blue that I looked to be in my twenties (ha ha)! Hanging around with other YA fantasy writers (one of whom coincidentally graduated from my alma mater)) . . . the very first session I attended taught us all that we Must. Join. Twitter.
I rolled my eyes–I tend to be a wee bit anti-technology at times–but figured hey, these folks knew what they were talking about. So, quietly, and a bit skeptically, I joined. Slowly, I started following people who seemed interesting, and even more slowly, people started following
little big ol’ me.
Let me say that *just* doing that made every penny of the conference fees worth it. I have learned so very much on Twitter, by following other writers, agents, publishers, readers, you name it. Not to mention the support that we get from others in this field. So nice!
When I look back at me a year ago, I was such a novice. And I’ve gained so much knowledge that I think I can call myself an intermediate.
In about 36 hours I’m heading out to Springfield, Mass. to the New England SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators)* Conference, and I’m excited to find out what new information I’ll be learning and contacts I’ll be making this year. This time I won’t be a newbie, nervous about talking to the “real” writers.
And this year, I know I have nothing to lose by reaching out and building even more of my own community. Because writing on your own is just not as much fun.
*That is a wicked long name, BTW. Even saying the initials is a mouthful, and I’ve been told that saying “skibwee” (which I want to do) is a faux pas! 😛