Editors and wallflowers – Publishing conference

THE STORY: Today I’m at a publishing conference. It’s a space for snagging business cards as fast as you can, meeting lots of people, and getting your name out there. Generally a “me” centered event.

But not for everyone.

One woman at the conference stood out to me. Not to anyone else probably, because she did not make herself obvious. Her acts of kindness were simply genuine love acts, not self-promotion.

We had these “networking” opportunities between each class – about a half hour. And it seems that in every break, there was some loner, standing in the corner under the fake tree, nibbling his or her brownie alone. Thanks to this wonderful woman, who shall remain nameless, no loner remained a loner for long. Every time I saw her, she was off in that corner, drawing the quiet person into conversation. When I walked by, she had gotten one girl lit up and talking about her side project – starting a magazine. From what I could tell, the little bits I overheard, every conversation was different. That means she dove into whatever topic the other person had a passion for. It takes a special type to root out that “passion” in every single person, and to get them excited and opened up.

THE TWIST:

It also takes a special person to become a famous and well-respected editor. This woman who was reaching out to the quiet wallflowers had every reason to be proud of herself, tout her accomplishments. But I didn’t hear her do it once. And I saw her a LOT at this conference. There are people who accomplish amazing things, and then there are people who accomplish amazing things and use their life to bless others.

Those are the cool people.

I admired this woman for the mark she’s made in the industry, and the big-name authors she’s acquired and edited. Now, I just flat out admire her.

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