Spring Break, Summer Camp and Grad School All Rolled Up Into One

This weekend I was lucky enough to get to go to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City.  This was my fourth time attending this conference, and it’s always an amazing experience.  

It was like Spring Break.  It was fun to get away, sleep in a hotel room, walk around in New York when I wasn’t in a session.  I did a bit of shopping, I ate cupcakes from the famous Magnolia bakery.  I went to dinner with some new friends and laughed and drank.

I’ve only been to summer camp once, and it was basketball camp at Central Connecticut State University.  When I returned from camp, the skills that my coaches at camp made my muscles memorize were firmly switched on.  My coach on my team in high school picked up on it right away.  “Beej,” he said, “your rebounding has improved so much.  You’re really owning that crowd under the basket, way to go.”  I am hoping that after the back to back sessions my skills as a writer and a promoter of my work will improve.  At basketball camp I learned the confidence to get into the fray under the basket and come out with the ball.  Maybe the skills I learned this weekend will give me the confidence to be a bit more outspoken when it comes to promoting Beside the Music.  After all, I’ve been too quiet about it for fear of annoying everyone in my life.  Well, I think I learned how to promote without being pushy. 

Yesterday for the entire three and a half hour train ride home from New York I pulled out my notebook and wrote out succinct to-do items.  I just free associated them out onto the page, of all the things I wanted to try that I had learned.  Then I opened another notebook and organized my four page list into a categorized list of to do items.  I now have a list of administrative tasks, social media engagement tasks, mailing list tasks, online promotions tasks, offline promotion tasks.  This morning I selected one item from each category to focus all my energy on.  When those are all completed I will select a new task from each category.  I feel empowered and ready to take on this crazy world of book promotion.

Lastly my conference was like grad school.  Yes, I do have a master’s degree.  I am an academia junkie.  I love going to classes and seminars.  And I went to about 10 seminars over the weekend.  My master’s program was 10 classes, and it lasted three years because I did it part time.  This was two and a half days and I jammed in 10 seminars in that time. 

By the time Sunday came around I was full.  My brain wanted to just get onto my train and get my thoughts organized.  I called Amtrak and got onto the 1 PM train, instead of the 3.  I feel refreshed.  I feel energized.  I am ready to rock.

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.

added on 08.15.16

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