It’s time for this year’s “Do, or Do Not” post. And while I did compile the advice from Realm Makers vets like I did last year, I still have quite a list on my own. Most of them apply to any conference you might attend, so feel free to share around with others! There’s a few that apply only to Realm Makers, which makes them extra fun.
Last year, my favorite DO was from JJ Johnson:
Obey the 3,2,1 rule of all cons: At least 3 hours of sleep, 2 meals a day, and yes- at least 1 shower.
I think it captures the essence of this post well. (And for some odd reason, I have this going through my head: Do. Do not. Do not try. To the tune of that German song, Du Hast, by Rammstein. Y’all remember that one? Oy!)
Do remember to bring your underwear! Also remember:
- Socks (for some)
- Geeky fun stuff
- Business Cards
- Sonic Screwdriver
- And the list goes on …
DO read through your conference booklet after you check in. This has important information and updates that will help you throughout the conference. Information like schedules, workshops, and where the TARDIS is located and how to avoid the normals.
DO remember that we are supposed to be professionals. Geekry and fun is expected, but we must also be respectful of the other patrons and employees at the hotel. They are not part of The Empire.
DO be on time for your appointments. Set an alarm if you have to! Tie a zap collar around your neck to jerk you out of the learning awesomeness trance …
DO be kind. We may all be writers, but we’re from all walks of life, all genres, all ages, all kinds of backgrounds. Don’t assume your way is the only way. Don’t be afraid to disagree, but always be respectful.
DO have a quick pitch ready for when people (agents, editors, even other writers) as you about what you’re working on. Having the pitch handy keeps you from spending 20 minutes trying to relate what you should have said in about 2 minutes.
DO ask about other people’s work too!
DO unto others …
DO arrive early to the awards banquet so we can take pictures! Especially if you’re wearing a costume.
(This is the most important piece of advice.) DO NOT follow an agent/editor/author into the bathroom for any reason other than to use the restroom yourself. Do not try to ask questions. Do not try to pitch your latest novel.
DO NOT forget about the bookstore! There’s tons of amazing books and other writing- or geek-related stuff in there. What better place to support your fellow writers and publishing professionals than at the conference.
DO NOT DRINK THE WATER!!! Just kidding. This is actually a very important DO. DO drink lots of water. Even at normal conferences this is important, but being as Reno is dry and hot and has lots of allergens. Yeah, drink lots of water.
DO NOT retreat into your shell. A lot of writers are introverts, and the idea of being around a lot of people (we’ll have over 200 this year!) make them want to pull their heads inside their shell like a turtle. Well, my friends, at a conference you need to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle! No hiding here!
However, DO NOT feel like you have to attend every workshop and activity (or stay the whole time). It’s important that you don’t push yourself too hard. If you need to take a 30-minute nap, do it. If you need to find a quiet corner for reflection or solace, do so. Do you need to get at least 6 hours of sleep, turn in early enough for your sanity!
DO NOT be afraid to ask questions of the staff! We are there to help you. And we know everything! Just kidding. We may not know everything, but we’ll have a good idea of where to find out if we don’t.
What are some other Do’s and Don’ts to add to the list?
Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a social media wand, or a freelance editor’s sword, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to help everyone SHINE BEYOND! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and for several freelance clients. Her novel, Bellanok, is available on Amazon, and her next one from Elk Lake Publishing will be out September 2017!
When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .