The single biggest thing you can do for your writing career (besides writing the books)

Yes, that’s world famous author Sandra Brown with your’s truly. But we’ll get to that in a bit. First, let’s talk about some serious stuff. I attended the DFW Writer’s Conference this past weekend and holy crap, my world will never be the same. It was completely inspirational and motivating. I also learned that I have so much more to learn about the publishing world, especially now that everything is changing, and yet, so much is staying the same.

First, I’ve been making alot of mistakes in my approach to being an “authorpreneur.” But, by definition, authorpreneurs are those folks that take risks. They take it upon themselves to make things happen, so of course we’ll make mistakes in the beginning of our careers. We will continue to make more mistakes well into our careers. But whoa be it if we keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I’ve learned about the mistakes I’ve been making and will not continue those same mistakes in the future.

Case in point, is my blog. The conference was a weekend long thing, with many classes on social media including blogging. I got to meet Kristen Lamb, whose blog I’ve been following, with thousands of other writers, for many months now. Red Bull needs to sign her up for an endorsement deal. I not only hung on her every word during her classes, but I also watched her interact with other conference attendees as she chit-chatted with several of them. One thing about conferences, everyone’s enthusiasm seems to lag as the conference drags on. Not Kristen. She was just as inspiring, genuine, and had this intense focus with everyone she met from the opening session to the last moments of the conference late Sunday afternoon. She digs writing and loves her fellow writers. Plus, she knows her stuff when it comes to using social media. I learned alot about how to blog correctly. I humbly submit myself to her cult of personality.

And speaking of people that made an impact at the conference, Sandra Brown knocked it out of the park. She was this year’s keynote speaker and if you were sitting in the auditorium filled with the 500 or so fellow writers that were in attendance and you didn’t love her books before, then you loved them after she held court with us. She was gracious, inspiring, and, above all, funny. She recounted how she got her start and told several personal stories about her writing career, funny stories that we could all relate to. She is a true storyteller, both on paper and in person. She has not only written the book on writing books, she is the textbook example of how a writer makes a public appearance.

With all that I need to tell you about what went on at the conference, and what I learned, I am keeping to my Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday postings this week. But, you will begin to see small changes, starting tomorrow. For example, on tomorrow’s post, you will see a new title of the blog. No longer will it be titled “Behind the Book.” From now on it’s “Mark Fadden’s blog.” Why? It’s all about branding, something we’ll get into tomorrow. Then, starting next week, everything changes, including the days that I blog. No one likes change, but these are necessary.

By the way, if you live in the DFW area, or in any part of Texas, Oklahoma, or Louisiana for that matter, you need to start saving up, get the vacation days off, and do whatever else you need to do to go to next year’s DFW writer’s conference. Besides writing the actual novels, it was the single biggest thing I’ve done for my writing career. If you haven’t been to it yet, I’m sure it will be the same big event for you next year as well.

More about the conference tomorrow on “Mark Fadden’s Blog.” Change, it is a comin’. Saddle up!


Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and award-winning author of Five Days in Dallas and The Brink. Check out his novels at


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