Posted by: Rebecca.
Over the weekend, Bridgett and I had the privilege to attend the 2014 Realm Makers conference. Where do I even begin to share the highlights and my take-aways? So many amazing workshops, visiting with good friends and fellow authors, getting to know new ones, learning more about the craft and industry, a costume banquet, the extremely talented and inspiring Tosca Lee as keynote speaker. (Whom God really used to encourage me.)
I believe Bridgett and other attendees would agree, that we are extremely blessed to have such an amazing group like Realm Makers. (If you write or are interested in Christian speculative fiction, you
need to must check out this group!)
Here are some of my take-aways from this weekend: (These are in no particular order)
1.We as writers should not be afraid to ask and ponder the tough “What if?” questions.
2. When ready to begin looking for an agent, remember TRAP. (Advice from Steve Laube)
- T – Timing. Are you ready? Is your manuscript ready?
- R – Research. Make sure to research the agents and submit to multiple agents.
- A – Attractive. Learn how to be attractive. Get to know the industry, publishers, editors, a general idea of how it all works. Agents invest a lot into a writer and with people they know and have established professional relationships with. Help them keep their reputation, better yet, help their reputation be improved because of you. Can you articulate your idea? If not, learn how to, in person and on the phone. PRACTICE your pitch and having conversations about your writing and the industry.
- P – Presentation. Do the work it takes to write a great proposal. Give the agents reasons to say yes. Objections will be thrown at your proposal and manuscript, if you can meet those objections (What makes your idea unique or better than someone else’s, etc.) you will have a better chance of their saying yes.
3. We have superpowers! Things that we are naturally inclined and gifted to do. Take what you are good at, your gift or strength, and grow it! Capitalize on it! Manage your non-superpowers, those things that you aren’t so great at.
4. If you feel like you don’t know what to do, it’s likely fear trying to stop you.
5. Write like no one will ever read it. Be fearless!
6. Others will judge your writing, however, you are not your writing. It’s the work you do, not you.
7. Show up in the page, and continue to do the work. Continue to learn and grow in the craft.
8. Perfectionism will silence you. That’s what revisions are for…polishing.
9. FINISH! Finish writing the book, the story, the screenplay. Get your butt in the chair, coffee or tea in your mug, and write!
10. Writing can be a solitary job. Keep in mind that you are not alone. Think about your reader, think about God. He gave you the idea anyways…take dictation and put it on the page.
11. Get to know other writers. We each have strengths, experience, skills, weaknesses and even fears. I’m learning what an incredible blessing taking time to nurture friendships with fellow writers and authors is, and how getting involved in critique and writer’s groups is an enormous help and encouragement. (And just down right FUN!)
There is so much more I could write about regarding the Realm Makers conference. In my points above, I barely even touched on the workshops and what I learned in each of them. Workshops on SteamPunk, Writing YA, Writing Villains, Unventing Language, Magic Systems and Using Science in Writing Fantacy…just to name a few.
I hope you will remember that God gave you amazing gifts and talents, even if it’s not writing. There’s something inside of you, something you are capable of that no one else is, a story that only you can tell.
Your turn to Shed Your Light below…
Have you attended a writer’s conference? Which one’s and what were your take-aways?
About the author:
Rebecca Bergren is a writer with the ability to redefine clichés and travel through time with the mysterious, quirky cast of her novels. Life’s lessons have also inspired her to weave a message of hope and God’s restoration power into her heartwarming screenplays and humorous short pieces.
Rebecca is a member of ACFW, MyBookTherapy, Write Now Writers’ Group, and Writing Craft Girls critique circle. She lives in Minnesota with one fabulous man, three spunky kids, and a marshmallow-eating Labrador.