on conference choices and career building

Over the weekend I picked up a book on building a platform for a writing career.  Turns out I’ve started to do exactly what they recommend, mostly propelled through my graduate school work.  But it’s time to get more focused.

For example, I’m delivering a paper at the Virginia Humanities Conference on March 26.  Giving academic presentations is one of the ways a person builds an academic career.

At the same time, I am jazzed by my writing seminar this semester.  The career I have in mind is not a traditional academic career, but a creative one blending scholarship with creative projects.

Which means the conference I probably should be attending is the Writers at the Beach Seaglass Conference in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware.  It takes place at exactly the same time as the VHC in Staunton, Virginia.  I can’t be in two places at the same time – and I’ve already paid the registration for the VHC, booked a hotel room, and had planned to attend the entire conference and network with people teaching at Virginia colleges and universities.

Now I’m wondering if attending workshops and networking at the Writers at the Beach conference might be more productive than attending paper presentations and networking at the VHC.  So I’m thinking about giving my presentation at the VHC on Friday morning and then booking it across two states to Delaware to attend the writing conference.  Seems a bit crazy.  And expensive.  And perhaps unfair to the folks at the VHC.


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