Over the weekend I had the opportunity to attend Pikes Peak Writer's Conference in Colorado Springs, CO. I had a wonderful time meeting new people, which was my goal. I didn't pitch an idea to any publisher although I did introduce myself to Lou Anders of Pyr Books. I suspect when I did so he thought I was going to approach him on an idea. That wasn't my purpose. I simply said 'Hi' and moved on.
I also did a read and critique with Steve Saffel of Tital Books. He gave some very good and insightful advice on improving my opening page for 'Winter Emergence', sequel to my novel 'Winter Awakening'. I also sat in with at a Muse session because I'm stuck on my current in progress work 'Thunks in the Attic' a paranormal. His suggestions helped and I can't wait to get back to it.
Much of what was covered I pretty much already knew. Review is always good and I loved writers sharing stories about their struggles and how they overcame them. How they set goals for themselves, Carrie Vaughn has one of not living in a card board box when she's eighty so her mother, who's an account, is helping with her financial planning.
I think what really surprised me was the number of writers who almost quit before selling the break through novel. I can identify with this myself. I too reached a point where I questioned whether I wanted to continue on the pro march or just resign myself to being a fan fiction writer. I'm glad now I kept at it.
What I took away from the conference is this, and I heard it more than once, 'The surest way to fail - is not to try.'