Riding Another Post-Conference High

My second writers’ conference ended two days ago, and yet here I am, still floating around in my shimmering pink cloud. What a phenomenal experience it was! This was the same conference I went to before, the Southern California Writers’ Conference, but this time it was at their San Diego location, which was fun for me, since I’d never been to San Diego before.  

Like last time, I feel motivated and encouraged to continue this crazy writing life I’ve chosen. The manuscript I brought with me to the conference was for the same novel I was working on last time (well, actually it’s changed so much that one might call it a whole different story…) but all the hard work I did in the past six months has really paid off. The novel is far from finished, since the whole middle section needs revamping, which will inevitably change the end too, but I know I’m heading in the right direction.

“I still have a lot of work to do on this manuscript, but I am elated to see that other people are into it.”

Though I still have a lot of work to do, the feedback I got in my Read & Critique sessions (I believe I went to five of them!) was largely positive, and people seemed genuinely excited about my story! That point in particular is a dream come true, since as a creative person, I have two alternating mindsets: “I’m living a lie and all my work is trash,” and, “No one in the history of the world has ever been as brilliant as I am at this moment.”

Call me delusional, but my wildest dreams really do feel a step closer than they were just a few days ago. The two biggest highlights for me were the following:

    • The agent I met with for my one-on-one advance submission liked my first ten pages and query letter, and asked me to send the full manuscript when it’s finished.
    • The industry professional I met with for my one-on-one at the LAST conference, who was rather curt with me that time, seemed to love this version, and told me to reach out to her for more feedback regarding the psychological elements, since she has also worked in that field. This was especially validating because this woman strikes me as both brilliant and terrifying, and rather hard to please, so a compliment from her is worth a thousand compliments from a people-pleaser.

I still have a lot of work to do on this manuscript but I am elated to see that other people are into it. It makes me feel more confident that once I’ve finally polished it all up and ready to begin querying agents, maybe I have a chance.

One last point: I’ve already word-vomited about this all over social media, but you really do meet the best people at these events. People from every step of the process, each with a story burning inside of them. It’s inspiring to talk to people who have been traditionally published, and equally inspiring to see how willing those of us at the bottom are to uplift and encourage each other. ❤

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