1. Go. Definitely go.
It was so much fun, you guys! I had a blast hanging with friends and authors and author-friends and readers and reader-friends. It was a blast. Definitely going again.
2. Be more accessible. And organized.
So, on the off chance you were there and found me, IT WAS SO FUN TO MEET YOU! But if you were there and did not, I really apologize. Next year, I will definitely schedule a time to meet readers in a more casual setting, because holy cow, I underestimated just how many people would be there. If you are one of the totally amazing readers I managed to meet, thank you for coming out! And I hope you had as much fun as I did.
3. When friends suggest things like “Hey, let’s not bother our neighbors with our loud wine-fueled conversation at midnight and go to the lobby!” do NOT just wear your pjs, because hey, it’s midnight and WHO COULD YOU POSSIBLY MEET IN THE LOBBY AT MIDNIGHT WEARING YOUR PJS?
(I mean, other than a major publishing executive, of course.)
“Hey Mom, guess who I met last night?”
“__________ at Really Important Publishing!”
“I was in my yoga pants.”
“It was a proud professional moment.”
4. Go to more craft panels.
I do feel like I was such a newbie this year. I’d love to speak on a panel someday, but it was really great being able to go and focus on areas of my writing where I could learn from people I admire. The Craft panels, in particular, were really helpful.
5. Try NOT to fangirl over your favorite writers in an embarrassing fashion.
Me: I’m such a huge fan! Can you sign this book?
Favorite writer: Oh, you’re Elizabeth Hunter!
Me: *frozen in shock*
Favorite writer: *says something really lovely and gracious*
Me: *still in shock and probably saying something stupid*
And days later, I’m still convinced Favorite Writer had me completely confused with someone else, because in no way could she possibly know who I am. But that’s okay! Because it was a Favorite Moment in Life, I’m claiming my delusions, and I’m not a real professional yet. I meet publishing execs in my pjs, after all.
6. Drink more.
(On second thought, that may have contributed to poor wardrobe decisions at midnight.)
All in all, it was an incredible convention with lots of good stories, lots of fun people, and much to look forward to next year.
Hope to see you in New Orleans in 2014!