Countdown to Mount Hermon

Sixteen days and counting. Am I ready? Not exactly. I have my portable hair dryer, two completed manuscripts, and the beginning pages of a third. Is my pitch ready yet?

Oh, no.

I’m talking about Mount Hermon, my favorite writer’s conference. For me it straddles the fence, somewhere in between the relaxation of a mountain retreat and the trauma of a dozen back-to-back job interviews. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the life of a true artist. You have to be willing to continually lay yourself out on the examining table, if you want your artwork to be healthy, if you want your skill to grow.

But, ouch. It isn’t always fun. Especially for those writers who have the tender disposition of an introvert. Especially when it’s your word picture that’s being analyzed.

How do you survive a writer’s conference, especially a big conference where you can get lost in the crowd? What do you do if it’s your very first time?

Tips for Newbies:

1. Be honest. Everybody has a first time. Let the people at lunch or dinner know you’ve never been there before. Ask them what classes they recommend, what speakers they like best. Ask what they are writing. Get to know the people God puts in your path. They might just become lifelong buddies.

2. Take a break. You won’t be able to attend every class or workshop. Give yourself the option to sleep late one morning or to skip a class and go for a walk in the woods.

3. Realize that you probably won’t sell your manuscript right away. You might not sell it this conference or the next conference or the one after that. If you want to be a writer you will probably need to write several complete books before the first one sells. In the meantime, you will be meeting people, making friends, and continuing to improve your writing.


Niloofar said...

hi , u have a reallllly great blog
i love ur post n i heart this pic

Merrie Destefano said...

Thanks for dropping by! I'm glad you like the blog--your comment was really appreciated!

M. C. Pearson said...

I'm so jealous! I want to go to Mt. Hermon...I used to live in San Jose. Now I'm on the other side of the country. I went to the Philly conference in 2006 and had a blast. I'm planning on going to the Blue Ridge Writer's Conference this year. FUN!

Merrie Destefano said...

You'll have to let me know what you think of the Blue Ridge Writer's Conference. I've always wanted to go to that one!

But yes, Mount Hermon is wonderful. I am really looking forward to going!

Blessings on your writing and thanks for adding me to the FIRST blog tour--