WriteOnCon: Online Writers’ Conference 2nd – 4th Feb 2017
WriteOnCon is a three-day online children’s book conference for writers and illustrators of picture books, middle grade, young adult, and even new adult.
It was quite by chance that I found out about this online Writers’ conference. One of the awesome writerly tweeps I follow (@Writerology) posted a link the day before it was due to start. I don’t know why, because I’m not usually a spontaneous person, but I decided to sign up and quickly found myself registering for the standard access deal.
I’ve never participated in anything like this before, and as I’m still at the very beginning of my writing journey, I was more than a little nervous. So, the whole concept of being able to do this from the comfort of my own home, without having to ‘make eye-contact’ with other humans was a huge plus! 🙂
I had no idea what I was doing (and there were a few technical difficulties in the beginning), but I committed to taking the time to participate in the forums, explore each of the Blog/vlog events, take advantage of the free access to the Live Q&A sessions, and not cry over any feedback people took the time to leave on my work.
I’ll be honest: it was exhausting! There was so much amazing information to try and absorb, that my brain hurt. All of the posts were interesting and relevant, the Q&A sessions were always informative and my questions got answered 🙂
I got a couple of feedback(s?) on extracts of my WIP that I posted, which were a little disheartening at first. But after I got over the allowed 5-minute-pity-party, I realised they were right, and the problem was that I was trying to straddle the MG and YA categories, and it just wasn’t working.
I’ll post more about my epiphanies in an update post later, but long story short (probably too late for that now, I know), I’m going back to the drawing board and picking 1 age category that I can keep in mind and shape my writing for. It means I have to scrap pretty much all of the writing I’ve done so far, but I can at least keep most of the planning (eg. World Building) and just make a few changes on character profiles and plot points.
I know it’s the right decision because I’m more excited about this project than I have been in a long time. Ideas have been sparking left, right and centre, and the direction I want to go, and how I want to get there, have come into much clearer focus.
So, while it was a little painful at first, I am beyond grateful that I signed up to this event, and would enthusiastically recommend it to any aspiring authors out there, who feel a little stuck with their current WIP. Hopefully this happens again next year and I can be massively inspired all over again! 🙂