Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Conference Countdown

by Annette Dashofy

Sixty-seven days and counting.

I began keeping track of the number of days until my duties as 2009 Pennwriters Conference Coordinator end back at 154. At that point, it seemed as if it would never get here. I was buried under a mountain of tasks that needed done without a clue as to whether I was doing anything right. Would I ever see the light of day again?

Yes, I was overly melodramatic.

A few weeks into the countdown, I had an epiphany. Instead of looking at that huge number and thinking freedom will never arrive, I decided to think of it as all the time I had to accomplish the myriad of tasks on my plate.

That helped.

Until the number dropped under 100. Suddenly, I didn’t have nearly as much time as I thought. So much to do, so few days.

There’s just no pleasing me.

Now at 67 days, there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. And, yes, I realize it’s probably a train. But I’m calmer than at any point so far. The brochures have been sent. Registrations are rolling in. Of course there are problems. Daily. But I’m dealing with them on a case-by-case basis.

The fact that I quit my job at the yoga studio and freed up several more hours each week helps.

The fact that I’m never doing this again helps, too.

So what have I accomplished? We have 33 workshops and panels lined up. Five top agents and three editors will be in attendance. The list of speakers is mind-boggling. (If I do say so myself.)

Are you trying to hone your writing craft? We have workshops for that. Need help with research? Covered. Do you need help with your pitch or query? At least three workshops are scheduled to deal with that. Perhaps you have your book finished and need help with marketing. There are AT LEAST four workshops dealing with promotion. We have panels dealing with romance, sci-fi/fantasy, crime fiction, and more.

And of course, there’s Lisa Scottoline speaking at the Friday night keynote dinner and Tim Esaias regaling us with his wit and wisdom at the Saturday lunch.

Interested? Click here to register.

Photo courtesy of April Narby.


Jenna said...

It looks amazing, Annette! Wish I could be there. You've done a fabulous job, and although I'm sure things'll crop up between now and then - on a daily basis - you're so far ahead of the curve you won't have any problem coping with whatever fate throws at you. Gosh, I wish I lived a little closer to Pittsburgh...!

Annette said...

Jennie, that's no excuse. We had someone come from England (I think) last year.

Anonymous said...

Going to register now, honey. I'll also be there helping MLB with books, so if you need an extra hand, let me know! xo Kathy

Denise said...

Annette, you're doing a great job. Just so you know, I've heard other conference coordinatiors say never again, but... :)

Annette said...

Kathy, I'll definitely put you to work. ;-)

Denise, trust me, this is a one-time deal. It's been fascinating and educational beyond all belief. But my plan from the beginning was to do my duty NOW while I still don't have a deadline for a book to deal with. I HOPE that in the future (yeah, I'm a dreamer) I'll be too busy with my writing career to do the conference coordinator thing again. And if not, I plan to spend all my time working toward that goal.

So the "never again" thing has nothing to do with the stress. It was part of the plan all along.