[My Writing Life] Setting Goals at NCTE and Other Conventions

My Writing Book of the Day: Word Magic, by Cindy Rogers. Forget structure. Forget first drafts. Think specific words and phrases. That’s where magic happens, and Cindy is your guide. The chapter on implication is one of my favorites. Through examples, exercises, explanation, and quotation, you learn how to imply so much more in your words than what you actually say. That’s a solid gold skill for every writer working within short word counts!?(I’m sharing a favorite writing book every day for a bit in case you need ideas for your holiday gift list–or want to buy a gift for yourself!)

———————————————————————–

Setting Goals at Conventions

I’ve blogged about generosity at conventions and also about “Is it worth it for a writer to go to IRA?” (or any of the big conventions). Today I want to share something else that makes big conventions more meaningful to me: goals.

When I’ve attended IRA or ALA or NCTE without concrete goals, I’ve still had a great time. But I haven’t put myself out there as much. When I set very specific goals, I force myself to things I need to do but am not comfortable doing. Here are my goals from Las Vegas! (Excuse the fuzziness.)

My goals mostly had to do with connecting.

#1–2 I want to present more at conventions like this, with other poets and writers, but also with educators. But I don’t know how educators hook up with writers! So I wanted to ask around about that and also find out if it was kosher to ask about this on the forum for NCTE members.

#3 I always take tons of rack cards, postcards, etc. But sometimes I take just as many home.

#4?My editor at Clarion went to the digital production side of things a while back. So I wanted to find out who my agent should send future manuscripts to. I knew Publisher Dinah Stevenson would be there and that she would be the perfect person to ask.

#5 I wrote two names down of specific people to say hi to because I knew for sure they would be there. These were people to whom I had been introduced last year at NCTE and/or people who had advocated for BookSpeak! over the past year.?(I ended up connecting with about 8 people in this category at various sessions. It was tough going up afterward and saying hi, reminding them of who I was or introducing myself, etc., but I did it. Yay!)

I’m happy to say I crossed all five goals off my list. And I know I wouldn’t have pushed myself to do these things without my little list guilting me into it:>)

12 Responses

  1. Great post! I got an amazing client by introducing myself to an educational publisher at IRA one year and giving her my card with a link to my edwriter.com web site! 🙂

    1. Love hearing that! I hate *doing* stuff like cold-introducing myself, but it can really lead to nice things–and you get to meet lots of other book-lovers that way. Don’t know why I hate doing it so much! Thanks for sharing…

  2. Great post! I got an amazing client by introducing myself to an educational publisher at IRA one year and giving her my card with a link to my edwriter.com web site! 🙂

    1. Love hearing that! I hate *doing* stuff like cold-introducing myself, but it can really lead to nice things–and you get to meet lots of other book-lovers that way. Don’t know why I hate doing it so much! Thanks for sharing…

  3. Great post! Setting goals is a great way to give new writers confidence too. Even if it is merely: 1. Learn one way to improve the Pickle Party manuscript 2. Meet three new writers 3. Ask a question in the plot session. We all have to start somewhere!

    1. Absolutely! My goals are always just to take me one step forward from wherever I am. They have to be personal to my situation. For more outgoing folks, introducing yourself to a few people might feel like nothing. To me, it’s definitely a push. I also often have things like, “By visiting vendor booths, identify what publishers might be good markets for XYZ manuscript.” Thanks for sharing:>)

  4. Great post! Setting goals is a great way to give new writers confidence too. Even if it is merely: 1. Learn one way to improve the Pickle Party manuscript 2. Meet three new writers 3. Ask a question in the plot session. We all have to start somewhere!

    1. Absolutely! My goals are always just to take me one step forward from wherever I am. They have to be personal to my situation. For more outgoing folks, introducing yourself to a few people might feel like nothing. To me, it’s definitely a push. I also often have things like, “By visiting vendor booths, identify what publishers might be good markets for XYZ manuscript.” Thanks for sharing:>)

  5. I would almost always rather write to people I don’t know than speak to them in person. Having a specific plan sounds like a good way to get over that initial speedbump. Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. Me, too! I don’t even like talking on the phone. Email or a note is always my first choice:>) P.S. I will answer your email this week. Sorry–absolutely swamped!

  6. I would almost always rather write to people I don’t know than speak to them in person. Having a specific plan sounds like a good way to get over that initial speedbump. Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. Me, too! I don’t even like talking on the phone. Email or a note is always my first choice:>) P.S. I will answer your email this week. Sorry–absolutely swamped!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,492 other subscribers

Are You Looking For?

Poetry Friday posts

Classroom Connections posts

All my poetryactions

Go to my Poetry page for:

  • National Poetry Month projects through the years
  • Small Reads Roundups (poems grouped by topic)
  • Introductions to several favorite poetry forms
Tags
#waterpoemproject15 Words or Less Poems20for2030 Painless Classroom Poems50 State Poemsacrosticsactivity pagesactivity sheetALAA Leaf Can Be...Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterA Need to FeedanthologiesanthologyA Rock Can Be...art projectsaudiopoemsawardsbad newsBarbara Juster EsbensenBilly Collinsbiopoemsblog tourbookalikesbook festivalsBookSpeak!book spine poemsbook trailersbop poembyr a thoddaidcafepresscalendar poemsCamp Read-a-LotCan Be... bookscan be... poemsCapstoneCarol Varsalonacascade poemsCatherine FlynnCCRA.W.3CCRA.W.4CCRA.W.5centoschapter bookschoral compositionschristina rossetticinquainsCLAclassified ad poemsclassroom connectionclassroom connectionsClover Kittyconferences and conventionscrown sonnetscybilsdansaDare to DreamDavid Elliottdeeper wisdom poemdefinitosdiamantesdiversitydizaindodoitsuDot DayDouglas Floriandownloadablesdrum corpse.e. cummingsekphrastic poemsepistolary poemsequation poemsessentialethereeseventsexquisite corpseFairy Tale Garage Salefamilyfibonaccifiction picture booksfinding familyfirefightersforeign editionsfound poemsfree author zoomsfree versefrom studentsgeesegeorgia heardghazalGift Taggiveawaygolden shovelgoldilocksgratitudehaikuheart of aheart of a teacherHeidi MordhorstHelen FrostHighlightshow-to poemshow to make a rainbowI Am FromI Am poemsidiomsif you want to knit some mittensIf You Were the MoonILAimagepoemsinterviewin the middle of the nightIRAIrelandIrene LathamJ. Patrick LewisJanet WongJoyce SidmanKendraKerlanKidlit Comboslailaura's board booksLaura's booksLaura's poemsLaura's readingsLaura ShovanLee Bennett HopkinsLilian MoorelimericksLinda Booth SweeneyLion of the Skylist poemslittle free librarylive writingLullaby and Kisses Sweetlyricsmadness poetrymargaret simonMarilyn Singermary lee hahnmask poemsMeet My FamilyMelissa StewartMentors for Rentmentor textsmetaphorMichelle Myers LacknerMillbrookMinnesota Book Awardsmoonmy reading lifemy writing processN+7naaninarrative poemsNational Poetry Month 2012 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2014 (riddle-ku)National Poetry Month 2015National Poetry Month 2016National Poetry Month 2017 (#wonderbreak)national poetry month 2018 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2020National Poetry Month 2021 (#EquationPoem)national poetry month 2022 (sticky-note poems)National Poetry Month 2023 (Digging for Poems)ncteNerdy Book Clubnifty newsnifty stuffNikki Grimesnonfictionnonfiction booksNonfiction Writers Dig Deepnovelsnovels in verseodesOne Minute Till BedtimeoppositifyOskar's VoyagepadletpantoumsparodiesPatreonpeacepersonalpet poemsphotopoetryphrase acrosticspicture booksplagiarismpoempicspoemspoems for two voicespoemsketchpoetic pursuitsPoetry 7poetryactionspoetry activitiesPoetry Blastpoetry booksPoetry FridayPoetry Friday AnthologiesPoetry Princessespoetry promptspoetry sistersPoetry Tips for Teachersprogressive poempublishing processpuddle songPutridquotationsraccontinosRandy Salasread-aloudreadaloudreading poetry in the classroomRebecca Kai Dotlichrecipe poemsrefugeesresearchreviewsrevisionrhyming booksrhyming nonfictionrhyming picture booksRhyming Picture Books the Write Wayrhyming poemsRiddle-kuriddle poemsRock Can Be...Rock the Blogrondeau redoublesRudyard Kiplingsalas snippetsSCBWIschool visitsScotlandseasonssecrets of the loonSELsestinasshrinking daysskinnyskypeslice of lifesmall readssnack snooze skedaddlesnowman-coldsonnetsStampede!storm poemstorytimestorywalkstudent poemsstudent workSylvia VardellTanita Davistankatautogramteachableteacher resourcesteen/adult poemsterza rimasthankfulthank yous and referencesthe business sidethings to do iftracy nelson maurertrioletstunie munson-bensonvideosVikram MadanvillanellevillanellesWater Can Be...wealthy elementaryWe BelongWhat's InsideWhy-kuwinterwonderwonderbreakword of the yearwordplaywordsmithswork for hirewritingwriting bookswriting processwriting promptswriting the life poeticyoung authors conferencesYouTubeZap Clap Boomzenozentangle
Show More Show Less

Join Laura's monthly newsletter for eductators

Get three of Laura's favorite poetry activities when you subscribe to "Small Reads."