Sunday, May 27, 2012

Post-Writers Conference thoughts

Last night I returned from the Backspace Writers' Conference in New York. 
  •  The conference seemed to be designed to break you down (Agents reviewed our queries and first two pages on the first day) and then build you back up again (Workshops and time to hang out with fellow writers were on days 2 and 3).
  • Next time I will save up money and just stay in the hotel.  My New York friends are fantastic but without the commute I could have gotten an extra hour of sleep every night.  Also it isn't fun trying to find your way back to the subway at 2 in the morning after hanging with fellow writers in a bar for five hours.    
  • Unlike most creative writing classes, there was little of, "You must write like this" and more, "There are many ways to write.  This is how I do it."  
  • Nothing makes an aspiring writer feel like a normal human being like being in a room with seventy other aspiring writers.  
  • I am not the only person in the world who thinks that "write what you know" leads boring material. 
  • Agents are intimidating but really do want to see you succeed. 
  • Our keynote speaker Lauren Baratz-Logsted did an excellent job of pumping us up.  She truly is a lovely person. 
  • My query letter and writing have improved since the last Backspace conference.  


  1. Hi Mike! It was great meeting you this past week and I definitely agree - I felt drained by the end of the first day, but oddly optimistic by the end of the third, and prepared to be a "happy, resilient writer." :) Definitely a valid experience all around. - Heidi

  2. Yeah for me wanting to be a published novelist is like trying to climb a mountain. Then I go to Backspace and realize that the mountain is an erupting volcano inhabited by bears with chainsaws. But I'm more determined than ever to get to the top of the volcano and I now have tools I didn't have before to get there. (Does that makes sense or did I lose you at the chainsaw wielding bears?)

  3. No, I agree with you, Bears and all. ; )