My First Writer's Conference

The first rule at a writer's conference: own the title on your name tag

Christina Corcoran

2 min read

2023 Writing Day Workshops, St. Louis, Missouri

When I saw the post about a spring Writer's conference, there was no question, no deliberation, just where do I click. I started working on my book about perfectionism and parenting a year ago and it was time to put down the laptop and step out into the literary world. However immediately after paying for the event and a pitch session, my inner critic spoke up. Talking about my book to friends and family, even strangers, is easy, but could I talk about it to other writers? An agent? Was I ready? Was I qualified?

I shut down that voice and gave myself the pep talk I needed. If I don't take a chance on myself, who will? If I don't believe in me, how can I expect others to?

My writing sessions kicked into overdrive. It was the most motivated I'd felt in months...then my computer crashed. Apple couldn't help. The computer repair shop couldn't help. Even a computer forensics lab said it was beyond their help. A year's worth of research and notes all gone. Luckily the bones of my book still existed on Google Docs. As a nonfiction book, this was not a fully written manuscript, but have no doubt, I bawled for days. I mourned hard, like when my Pomeranian, Mitzy, the sweetest puppy, who should have been called foxy for her magical resemblance to a small red fox, was struck by a red sports car and left to die in the street.

I seriously considered cancelling my pitch session, but thankfully that email remains in my draft folder. A reminder of my ability to stay in the game, even when I'm dealt the worst hand.

Sure, I made a BIG mistake. I failed to back up my work. I'm a 40 something gal, I watched the Sex and the City episode where Carrie's laptop dies and she was told you have to BACK UP. Yet, I didn't do it. I treated my MacBook like a Honda, thinking they last forever, except we know every car (and computer) has its day. The old me, the me before working on my own perfectionism, would have beat myself bloody over this mistake...again and again.

Should I have known better? Maybe, yes. But should I deny myself consolation? No! I'm not the only person this has happened to and I won't be the last. There's a reason businesses exist solely to retrieve lost data. The best I can do is grieve and move forward.

The book business is not easy. My computer dying was a test, not the first and not the last. I'm proud to say, I went to the conference gushing with confidence, owning (and earning) my title as Writer, because writers don't quit.


writers conference
writers conference