I'll be attending my very first writing conference the first week in October. It's a local gig so I don't expect to be too overwhelmed. I don't have anything that is ready to pitch to any of the agents who may be attending, so I will not be as stressed as the other attendee's. I'll be down for learning at the workshops and some good people watching.
An environment where folks are stressed is a great place to pick up character ideas. The little behaviors they do unconsciously while they are speaking to someone, or the way they act when they are alone in a crowd of people. I usually will go over to the latter folks after watching them for a bit. It is too painful to let them stand there alone for too long. I remember when I used to be unsure of myself.
I may not be sure of myself as a writer, but in a social situation, I can usually wing it. Going to a conference sounds like my kind of fun. I'm also set to go to a bigger one in February in San Francisco and hopefully, I'll have this novel completed and rewritten at least once for that dog and pony show.
I need to get back on the short story submissions. I'd put those on hold for a time while I learned a bit. I think getting published is in part a numbers game. If you submit a lot, you have a higher chance. Seems logical. We'll see.