Hey fellow authors, I was watching the 2012 National Black Writers conference that had occurred on March 31, 2012 and April 1, 2012 this year in Brooklyn, New York. I have to say it was well worth the time it took to watch for me. All in all I think it took almost half the day. As was for others who also mentioned that who actually attended the conference. If you can, as I have suggested and others have, get to a conference, network, meet, listen, learn and ask questions. You won’t regret doing that. Even if I don’t do it for various reason, I believe that you should.
So I missed out on Tavis Smiley’s panel whose facilitator was Esther Armah. However, hoping to catch in re-runs.
The three that I caught were on Writers and their Publishing Houses, How to Sell their Work and How to Use Social Media (paraphrase). The panels were as follows and if I missed anyone I do apologize (this means you have to watch too despite this blog entry):
Facilitator: Calvin Reid of Publishers Weekly How To Sell Your Work
Panelists: JL Calderone-author; Lisa C. Moore-Redbone Press; Regina Brooks-Serendipity Literary Agency and Open Lens; Johnny Temple-Akashic books; Cheryl Woodruff-Smiley Books and Oneworld; and Linda A. Duggins-Hachette Book Group.
Panelists: Akota Ofori-Atta-Root; Montague Kobbe-Blogger/Writer; Troy Johnson-aalbc.com; Joel Dreyfuss-Root; Angela P. Dodson-Kweli Journal; Laura Pegram-Kweli Journal.
The first facilitator was Mr. Obery. (Sorry I didn’t get a chance to get the last name written down).
The reason I am mentioning this conference is because of some video blog entries I have seen and listened too; some blog entries I have read and also some I have written based on what I have read and heard other writers say either in writing class or on blogs or other social media venues. I think that what they give us is a chance to meet other authors; like-minded individuals who are on the same path as we are which is to write. Some have chosen to become owners of agencies to help other writers out. But the bottom line is that we are all writers attempting to succeed in the business. Some may say that you are not a writer. That you are a show because of theatrics or other things that happen. But do they read what you wrote and do they like it? In fact, have they checked out your credits? As someone pointed out some people have been writing for years and aren’t known authors. As he said quality products aren’t always seen as big sellers. So even if they believe you can’t write, and you like it; then write a blog. Write funny newsletters. Paint a picture. Indulge your creativity. Don’t murder it. Don’t submerge it. Use it. Flaunt it. Exercise it. Enjoy it.
You can do this a number of ways. Through social media like Facebook, foursquare, use of Meebo and Hootsuite which allows you to open several accounts at the same time or to post on several accounts at the same time. You can become a speaker. You can become a video blogger. You can always find some form of publicity.
Remember your audience as one of the panelists said. The problem that I have had, is this: I don’t like what you write. I think it is crap. I think it is not of a level of a college graduate. This is what I get sometimes. And yet, I have other writers say, I have no problem with what you have written. It is well written, coherent, understood and good grammar and puncutation. Who do you think I should surround myself with? The negative or the positive? This to is part of the discussion albeit undercover.
Find yourself an editor, a reader and an agent. Find yourself your audience. Learn your craft. And then write until you no longer want too.
I hope that this doesn’t discourage you from following your desire to write. I hope that it works out for you.