Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kari's Kave: Conference Anyone?

Hello, Bloggerland, it's me...Kari!

Sorry this is up so late. I just got back from driving my hubby and his posse to the airport. They are off on a Myrtle Beach golf trip. They do this every year and love it. I hold down the fort while he's gone, and am happy he takes this time for himself to do something he really enjoys.

So that got me thinking. Why do I go to conferences? In part, I go to promote my books. I do workshops so people will get to know me. I volunteer and moderate workshops so I will get to know other authors. I take workshops because you can ALWAYS better your craft. I network and mingle at the bar to get to know agents and editors, etc.

But mostly I go because it's something just for me and something I really enjoy!

I think we all need that. To do something just for us. Especially as wives and mothers and caregivers, we don't take time out to do something just for ourselves very often.

Then I got thinking that while yes, I conference just for me, it can get expensive. And really, I am now promoting to a different audience. So as much as I love RWA nationals, I really do need to focus on attending conferences that are geared toward what I write. I think we all need to continue to evaluate what will benefit you the most as your career goals change over time, yet still choose something you know you will have fun at. Who says we can't have it all?

This is the first year in a long time that I am not attending RWA in NYC. In a way I am really bummed. It's finally in our neck of the woods. But it's sooooooo expensive anymore. So I am going to the Crime Bake in Boston this November instead. It is soooo much cheaper and it is geared toward what I write. Mysteries!

I want to attend SCBWI one year as well, but the mystery conferences sound awesome. People loved Left Coast Crime and Malice Domestic. When I go to RWA, I know so many authors, it's a lot of fun. It made me realize I need to meet my fellow mystery peeps. I need to get to know that world, and hell, hopefully my editor :-)

I still plan to drag my "special" peeps along with me, because let's face it, we could be ANYWHERE and still have a blast as long as we're together. But I have to say I am so excited to mix and mingle with a whole new "mysterious" world of writers.

So tell me, why do you all go to conferences? Do you really think about the conferences you attend and who they are geared toward? Do you ever think about attending new ones based upon what you write these days? Any great ones worth knowing about?

Enquiring minds want to know.


Kari Lee Townsend said...

I just wish the Crime Bake was sooner...I am getting that conference itch!

How about you guys?

Anita Clenney said...

I'm not going to RWA either. I just don't have that kind of extra money, but I'm going to miss it. I haven't attended many conferences, so I'm by no means a conference pro, but I've really enjoyed the ones I did attend. Not only do you feel inspired being in the company of writers, and take home great info from the workshops, but it is just so much fun. Like a business vacation.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

I agree, Anita! I not only have such a blast (laughing non-stop), but I go home so inspired and on such a high. I am so productive right after a conference. I just wish I could attend more of them. They really are more vacation than work for me.

Lindsay said...

This is the second year I'm not going to National but Crime Bake instead. Will I miss it-yes and no. The cost is high but the workshops are great. Reconnecting with other authors is great but trying to find the all elusive mens room when the women take over most of them isn't.
At Crime Bake, the only conference I'm going to this year, the workshops are geared more, like with you Kari, toward the genre I write.
But the one event that doesn't change from conference to conference-happy hour where authors, pubbed and unpubbed, can hang and talk freely and openly each other and agents and editors.
See you at Crime Bake. And yes I also wish it was sooner.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Hey, Lindsay, that's great! See you soon at Crime Bake :-)