As you probably know, I attended the Writing For The Soul conference in Denver a couple weeks ago to pitch my book to agents and editors and meet other writers. It was an amazing weekend. I'm not capable of giving a coherant narrative of the events so instead I will provide snapshots:
*My first pitch.... well, I chickened out and didn't even pitch in that first meeting. I shrank back and claimed I was only interested in learning and asking questions without first even trying to sell myself and my idea. Lesson learned. After that point, my pitch went over pretty well with my appointments with mentors, agents, and the editor from Zondervan. I was very excited and encouraged by all of my appointments. I had two requests from agents and one from an editor "in a few months".
*Jerry Jenkins himself critiqued my first page in his Thick-Skinned Clinic. Um, yeah. Okay, are you ready? Yeah, it was interesting. I guess I uh, had some dialogue that was a bit too, you know, realistic. He taught me about "on the nose" writing. Adding too much small talk in a scene that, while realistic, slowed down the action too much.
Note: I've since re-written my first page. *grin*
So, I'm entering the Genesis contest through ACFW within the next couple days. This week I am meeting in person with my mentor and hoping to make progress on the novel. That's my top writing priority. Next on the list is finishing my proposal (that pesky marketing section is still laughing at me), and after that anything new will get my attention. I'm praying about the ACFW conference in September. Agents? Well, I'll wait until my mentor feels the manuscript is at a point where querying agents is a good idea.
It's a long, long road to be sure. But connections and feedback are the best ways to move forward. Writing is a lonely process, but writing well--and getting published--is not. If that's you, then get out there. Join critique groups, get to a conference, participate on blogs... do something to connect to the bigger world of writing.
The keyboard will still be there when you come home.