Conferences and Training and Book Fairs, Oh My!

Me in traditional Floweranthan attire at the Lakefly Writers Conference – does that look like someone who could take apart an engine??

Usually I write a recap of every writers’ conference I go to, and I was originally planning to do that for the Lakefly one I attended in Oshkosh this month. I was tired when I got to the conference, and I was beyond exhausted when I left. But it was so worth it. I made a few good connections, and everyone there was so nice and pleasant. And, AND, I sold more books than I ever have at an event like that. Plus, it was very affordable compared to what I’ve paid for other conferences.

For a quick summary, I will say it was a conference that uniquely specialized in genre fiction, from what I observed. There were sessions tailored to fantasy, historical, and mystery/thriller, among others. Seeing as I don’t write much genre fiction, there wasn’t a ton there for me; but for people who do, it’s definitely something to look into. To get a better idea of the vibe, you may just want to watch the Facebook Live video below that I did from my table.

When I got back to work the next Monday, I went right into a 3-1/2 day training about stuff I knew nothing about with people I don’t normally get the pleasure of hanging out with. This training included taking apart two different engines completely and then putting them back together. What??

I work in an office and pretty much always have, so to spend the week with a bunch of mechanics was a complete 180. They were hilarious and crass, but they were very impressed with the fact that I was a published author. They ALL ended up buying my books! I sold more books in training for work than I did at a writers’ conference.

It was such a paradigm shift going from a conference where I felt completely competent to this training where I knew nothing, and I was surrounded by skilled professionals who seemed to know it all (OK, maybe not ALL, but a lot). In the end, it was good. It got me out from behind the comfort of my desk. Way, way, out. To the point that I had trouble readjusting when I went back to my normal grind.

AND THEN, the week after, I was off to a professional conference where I would be one insignificant tech writer among hundreds. It’s been a weird few weeks. On one hand, I enjoy the break in routine. On the other hand, I have stuff I need to get done. And at events and classes like this, I feel like I have to be on all the time. Make connections, smile, stay engaged, learn stuff, etc. I love conferences, and training can be fun, for sure, but three in a row. Oh my. It’s been a lot.

I’m busy, you’re busy, everyone’s busy. All good things, really, but thinking about it all kind of makes me want to sleep.

Morals of the story:

  1. Space out your events, for your own health and sanity. Did I mention these were all catered, too? Not that I’m complaining about THAT! It’s just not great for the ole diet.
  2. Talk about your books everywhere. You never know who will want to buy them. (Thanks again, guys! Come back up for training any time. Wink.)

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to! And you?