#ROW80 What I Did Last Weekend – a Review of some Online Writer’s Conferences

Should be : What I Did Last Summer, because technically it is still officially summer here in Australia. But last weekend, we certainly didn’t know it. Torrential rain, all weekend. All the Saturday sports and many other events were rained off, and many people up north have had some severe flooding – again.

For me, the rain was a good thing (apart from the leeches). At least for some of my writing life.

Firstly, I’ve been bereft in moving back into my revision work. I have no excuses at all, I’m looking at having to conquer some resistance (one side of writer’s block) on the size of the rewrites required on some of my scenes. But last weekend was fruitful in other areas of my writing life –

Online Writer’s Conferences

  • IndieReCon (it actually ran – for me – fromWednesday to Friday last week). My Aussie timing meant I was unable to IRCpromobadge3aattend the twitter chats etc, but IndieReCon simply published up all the posts on the day, ready for anybody to read as they please. I apparently did not win any of the prizes offered through rafflecopter however, but found the subjects incredibly helpful, and I learnt a lot. Some of my favourite articles are –
    • Stacey Wallace BenefielAll About Audio – she basically tells us how to get our books into Audio, and it actually looks easy!
    • S.R. JohannesMarketing Plans Made Easy and Denise Grover SwankSetting the Foundation for Your Writing Career: A Business Plan – both of these classes give templates and advice for these two vitally important documents for our writing career. Ironically, I’ve searched for months to find the information or some kind of format / template for these documents specific to writers.
    • Orna Ross of ALLIi (Allianceof Independent Authors)- Breaking into International Markets
    • Other good basics by Joanna Penn, Ali Cross, BiblioCrunch, DuoLit, Joel Friedlander, KOBO and many more.
    • And all of the articles are still up there for you to read or watch. Wana-Conference-new2
  • WANACon (it ran on my Saturday and Sunday). Because my daughter’s sports was rained off, yet we had had to get up early that morning just in case, I found myself with unexpected time to actually get into the classroom for several of the first day’s workshops. I tried to do so on Sunday morning also, but suffered from technical difficulties and then had somewhere to go. But I genuinely look forward to receiving the video recordings of each session when they become available. Because it was set at 3am mytime on a school day Monday morning, I also had to miss the end pajama party, and therefore any prize giveouts for the Conference.
    • The workshops were surprisingly small – I mean, by numbers of participants, but very friendly (perhaps because most were WANA people anyway).
    • I particularly enjoyed Candace Havens’ energiser-bunny nature in her classes, though missed her Revision Hell class on the Sunday. I’m actually intrigued by her Fast Draft workshop (she says there’s one coming up in March, if we watch her website). Apparently we can create a first draft in two weeks, with the help of some accountable buddies.
    • I also got a lot out of Jenny Hansen‘s workshop on Linked In, although have as yet to really look at what my profile is doing for me. Of interest to everyone – look yourself up on Google. If you have a Linked In profile as an author (even a brand new one), and a Facebook profile / page – guess which one will be at the top? Yep – Google pays much more attention to you on Linked In, it’s much better for SEO, despite how much time and attention you might have on building up your Facebook network.
    • Allison Brennan‘s class on Villains was also great once I got through some technical difficulties, and she’s now provided copious notes, so I’ll be watching/listening hard at the recording soon.
    • The earlier sessions, scheduled in my very early mornings, were missed on the day, but I look forward to seeing the recordings of many of these, particularly around Facebook, ebooks, and marketing.
    • Last week, after paying and registering, I expressed some regret on finally working out the timings and my own ability – or not – to attend the actual classroom sessions live. After finding some luck in spending a horribly wet morning and afternoon on Saturday attending a few sessions, I can now say that I would certainly consider enrolling again next year for WANACon II. I hope to see the conference grow, and for teachers in the classrooms to use the full facilities of video/audio, notes and visuals / documents for the classes.
    • My technical difficulties on Sunday found I had no audio when I entered the classroom. As I previously have some technical knowledge, I eventually worked out it was the confounded Adobe Flash Player still holding onto audio from a session beforehand (the day beforehand, and after a reboot!). However, another forced reboot resolved my problem, helped along by advice from WANA’s technical support guru (and apparently a sociopathic forum participant), Jay, who was out to help me via the outside chat facility. If I’d not worked out it myself, I have every confidence that Jay would have got me right asap. The whole support and moderator (by the beautiful sounding Jami Gold) situation inside the classrooms was excellent.

Other WorkROW80LogoSm

  • For my own ROW80 or writing goals, I can confess to spending quite a lot of hours working on an Author Training course homework. This week saw me adding to a reader profile I had developed for my book previously. And attempting to design one for a non-fiction idea I have. Have you got an idea of the profile of your IDEAL READER for your own books yet?
  • Now, I have a conference call to get to, and some rewrites this afternoon. I hope everyone’s goals are in some way being successfully met also. Live long and prosper.


Same day, slightly different bat channel:

There may well be another WANACon this year, in July. I don’t have to wait another full year. I can’t wait to see who the presenters might be this time.

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