I’m thinking about putting together a micro conference, maybe I'll call it the Reality Check Micro Writer’s Conference—a.ka. The Blind Leading the Blind.
Here's how it would work: I’d send my family away from the house for a day (or a chunk of a day) and invite a bunch of friends over for baked goods, chocolate, coffee, and lunch, and we'd talk about our plans and strategies for our business careers.
Maybe it would include 5-8 people total, mostly writers around the same career level as me. These would all be folks who can all learn from each other, and who know each other’s work well, or else are willing to do some reading to acquaint themselves with each other’s work, and who might be willing to do some homework on marketing so each person brings something to share.
I'd need to invite people who are willing to commit to being honest (I won’t say brutally honest, because that’s never helpful. Sneakily honest works better) with other people, and also with themselves, about their goals for their careers and the current state of their careers, their work, their marketing efforts, and the state of the business.
For me, it might be kind of hard, because I’d want to invite both playwrights and novelists. Would they be useful to each other? They each bring a certain amount of ignorance and knowledge about each others' worlds, which might be okay or might be a big problem. Or do I need to do two separate days, one for novelists and one for playwrights? (Which seems like a lot of extra work)
It might be a big failure. Or it might be really fun. We might need a lot more wine than coffee.
Part of what got me thinking about all of this was this great post from the blog Apparently!, where she talks about the importance of clear goals to help steer your career forward. I do want to take a day to myself and just think about my career goals, which is good. I already write down goals every year, and I talk about them to poor Tracy all the time. But I’d feel like I need some outside reality checks in this, too. If I had an agent, she might be able to help in all of this (but I don't. Yet.).
Hmm. I’m gonna think about it. I want something more intimate than a real writing conference, like Grub Street's Muse & Marketplace, though of course it won’t have the agents and editors and chances of making some great new connection. But I think it still might be useful.
I've got to think about it some more. (Who knows if any of my friends would even be interested. Or what if too many people are interested? Will feelings be hurt if people aren't invited?) I'm always a fan of small-scale projects that can be done for little money, but where people are able to connect and help each other. This seems like one of those projects.
(Just what I need, one more project.)