I never felt imposter syndrome. That is surprising, because I am usually a very insecure person. I get imposter syndrome walking into Target. I very much expected to. Hoity toity new York at the highly prestigious Writer’s Digest in the Hilton hotel I couldn’t afford even at the discounted rate, you KNEW I expected to not fit in.
A lot of my friends were pitching. A few were already self-published.
But writers are some of the best people on earth. Even the speakers and presenters, with decades of experience and countless bestselling books under their belt, were clear that everyone started off exactly where I am now. We all come from nothing, but we all have the potential to achieve everything, and I felt every one at the conference believed I could. Statistically speaking, not every person in attendance is or will be a bestseller, but the conference let it be known that any of us could be.
We are all on different journeys and the conference has a something helpful for every step of the way.
I skipped most of the panels on querying and publishing, because that’s not where I am as an author right now. I focused mostly on craft sessions and it made me thankful that my novel is only half finished because I’ll be able to implement any changes/techniques I’ve learned to only 60k transient words rather than 100k (mostly) reliant ones.
Best parts: connections, renewed inspiration/direction/purpose, and big names.
Less impressive parts: sessions were helpful but didn’t give a sense that they were exclusively helpful (many info repeated from previous years and/or available in books), location is cost prohibitive, coffee wasn’t out the whole time.
Will I be going to the Writer’s Digest conference next year? Probably not. Primarily for financial reasons, partially because I don’t totally love New York, and because I’m confident I’ll be able to find some awesome conferences closer to my home and less expensive.
Shpuld YOU go to the Writer’s Digest conference next year? That depends.