Realm Makers // Tips for Newbies! (AKA, Things I Wish I Had Known)

Wow. Look at me, I’m so on top of things, aren’t I? Posting every two weeks, giving you guys quality content. Go me.

Monkey Smh GIF by PG Tips



I had such an amazing time, meeting all of you guys (and wishing some of you guys were there ;( ), taking a notebook full of notes in all the classes, book buying, dressing up for banquet night, the Nerf war that may or may not have happened. 😉

In short, it was such an amazing experience, and since I can’t accurately sum everything up, I’m going to throw some of these other bloggers posts in your face. Jenelle, Tracey, and Christine have some lovely recaps you should go read right now (you’ll find a couple pictures of me, if you look hard enough. 😉 )

So, as a writer, this was a totally worthwhile experience for me. I would go again in a heartbeat. But…there were some things that I wish I had done, and some things I wish I hadn’t done. So, if you’re planning on going some time in the future, or you just want some of my advice for next year, I’m going to list some pro tips that will help you be the best Realmie you can be. 😀

Tip 1 // Take as many pictures as humanly possible!

This is one of those things were I can see my quietness really makes itself known. I’m not the type of person to just walk up to somebody and say ‘Hey, mind if I take a picture with you?’ No, no, no, no, no, that is not me. If you come up to me and ask for a picture, I will gladly pose and smile. But it’s just not in my nature to ask.

But I wish I had. I so wish I had.

Because now I have no pictures of the event (except for the ones Christine sent me, THANK YOU SO MUCH ❤ ). It’s all mostly memories for me. And that’s totally fine. If you don’t care about the pictures, no big deal. But I know for me, pictures help keep events alive in my mind. And I do have the memory of a goldfish, so…

forget finding nemo GIF

Also, part of the reason I didn’t take any pictures is because I didn’t have a nice camera. I had my phone with me, but any pictures I attempted to take on it were always blurry and/or grainy. So I gave up on that. I do have a little digital camera, but it’s not the easiest to use. And I also forgot it. So.

In conclusion: get yourself a good camera, and don’t be afraid to snap a ton of photos! You’ll be so glad you did.

Tip 2 // Consider if you want take notes on paper or on your laptop/device!

This kind of depends on how good at note taking you are. I know I kind of wished I have used my laptop (even though it’s big and bulky and weighs a half a ton XD ). Instead, I had a notebook with me. Which definitely worked just fine, I filled it up with a ton of great notes and it felt really great just carrying my little notebook and pencil to each class.

But I’m not the fastest note taker. There was a lot of stuff that I missed because I couldn’t write fast enough. (Most of the people giving classes were willing to send their slides out, though, so that was nice. 🙂 ) Typing is just much easier and more convenient for me.

Anna Kendrick Typing GIF

But it’s also a pain to lug around a gargantuan laptop. In my case, I probably won’t end up carrying my computer around, but if you have a tiny, easily portable device, I would highly suggest using that, if you’re more into typing than pencil and paper.

Tip 3 // Bring business cards!

I so wish I had made some and brought them! Every time someone handed me there business card I would have to accept it and then…awkwardly not give them anything in return because I had nothing. XD

Awkward French GIF

After I got home, I started designing some on Vistaprint, had them finished within a day, and then ordered a pack of a hundred. They’re super cute and I’m really excited about them. ^_^

So if you want to be professional and you have the money, it’s a great way to promote yourself and your business (editing, writing, blogging, etc).

Tip 4 // Book appointments!

I don’t know if they do this every year, but lemme tell ya, I definitely regret not meeting with an agent or editor or even a mentor.

The nice thing about it is that they have people you can talk to for each stage of writing you’re in. All polished up and looking to pitch? Go with an agent. Feeling pretty confident, but still feel like your manuscript could use a little more work before it’s ready? Try an editor. Still in the writing stage and just looking for general guidance and encouragement? Book a mentor.

I probably would’ve booked a mentor, if I hadn’t gotten around to it too late (go me. XD) I know a lot of my fellow bloggers had meetings with agents and editors and they said it was invaluable, talking with a professional.

So I am definitely booking sooner rather than later, if I go next year. It sounds like it was worth it.

Tip 5 // Don’t be afraid to take breaks when you need to!

This is probably the most important tip, in my opinion. Don’t tire yourself out, trying to do everything. It’s okay to step back and take a breather. Head to your room for a little nap. Do a little exploring on your own during break periods. Grab a snack and just sit and relax.

I came with my family, and we stayed on site most of the time. It was so nice being able to just head to my room if it was too much noise and people. I could hang with my family, watch a little TV, eat some of the food we brought. It worked out really well.

So if it’s getting to be too much, and you need to catch your breath, don’t feel bad about it. If the majority of us there are introverted, we’ll understand. (I don’t know if that was true, but nearly all the bloggers I knew who were there are introverted, so I’m just making up data. XD)

Not Listening No Way GIF


Well, those are my tips for you future Realmies. I hope you heed my advice and come to Realm Makers next year! It was such a blast meeting you guys and for those of you who couldn’t make it I HOPE YOU CAN COME NEXT YEAR. Although, I don’t even know if I can go next year… Well, fingers crossed, I guess.

Have you ever been to Realm Makers before? If so, what are some of your favorite memories? I’d love to swap experiences with you! And if you haven’t been to Realm Makers, are you planning to go next year? ‘CAUSE YOU NEED TO. SERIOUSLY. Maybe you’ll see me there next year… 😉

New Until Next Time!


12 responses to “Realm Makers // Tips for Newbies! (AKA, Things I Wish I Had Known)”

  1. I love this post! Great tips! AND IT WAS SO LOVELY MEETING YOU AAAHH! I will need to send you a few pics I got of you! 😀

    I’m much faster at typing as well, but didn’t really want to lug a laptop around either, so I hear you. XD I still need to finish typing up all my messy handwritten notes…

    So, good point about the business cards, and I brought some, but… honestly I kept forgetting to give them to people! 😛 I will try to remember in future buuuut… I’m just not used to the idea! Ooh, now I want to see what your shiny new business cards look like! 😀

    I was too late to book any mentor appointments until they opened up a few more slots, and almost didn’t. The ones I had were helpful but they did add a bit of extra stress/nervousness just anticipating them, so honestly I think not having any appointments for a first conference is okay. I do wish I’d gotten an agent or editor appointment but I didn’t have any manuscript ready, so. :-/

    Go you for taking breaks! I’m so glad that worked out well. 🙂 (I… didn’t much. XD)

    Anyway, thanks for sharing! I love these! 🙂 *needs to post a wrapup post and hasn’t yet*

    Liked by 1 person


      Yeah…You gotta evaluate the pros and cons of each thing I guess. 😛 I do too! XD

      There were a couple times where I felt like I could’ve given someone my card if I had only had one, but yeah, the majority of the time I would probably just end up forgetting too. I should share a picture of them in a future post! Or maybe if I get an Instagram…?

      Yes, I can totally see how they would add extra stress, the tense anticipation and all that. Yeah, if you just don’t feel ready or don’t want the extra nervousness piled on to you, no appointments is the way to go. An editor appointment is what I really wanted, but same, I didn’t have a manuscript ready either. 😐

      Haha, thanks! XD Yes, it was nice to be able to just unwind a bit between classes. (You poor thing. XD)

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad! It’s a lot of typing!! (That’s why I kind of cheated and did a tip post instead of an actual recap honestly. XD)


  2. R.F. Gammon (Florid Sword) Avatar
    R.F. Gammon (Florid Sword)

    This is going to be so helpful, my goodness. I’m hoping to be able to come myself next year (EEEE!!!!!) and I can see myself having very similar struggles on the whole introversion and photo count…I’m so glad you had a great time and I can’t WAIT to go next year!!!!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YAY I’m glad you think so!! THAT WOULD BE SO AWESOME. 😀 Yeah, it was a bit taxing on my introverted self, but I would totally go again. And again and again. XD I am too! And I REALLY HOPE that I can meet you there next year!! :DDD


  3. MADELIIIINE! *tackle-glomps* It was one of my Realm Makers highlights meeting you! I enjoyed meeting your sweet family too, the few times I saw them. You guys are all so precious!!!

    Thanks for linking to my post. That’s so sweet. And you are most welcome for the pictures! Also, feel free to use them for whatever. I don’t mind a bit. ^_^ But I know what you mean with the picture taking thing. Even after all that, I still wish I had gotten more! Next time I’m going picture crazy. Bwahaha.

    I also type SO much faster, and was going to use my laptop in classes, but then I didn’t want to lug it around so went with a notebook. I just need to learn to hand write faster! Haha.

    And I toootally should have taken more breaks. I went to my room like…once to relax and that’s it, because I hate being away from people. Rare Unicorn Extroverted Writer here. *sheepish grin* But yeah, I absolutely should have taken care of myself more!

    All these tips were perfect. I’m holding on to hope that we both end up there again next year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CHRISTIIINE!! *glomps back* Aww, it was one of mine too! You are too sweet!!! <333 I'm so grateful they could come along! ^_^

      Oh for sure! 🙂 I am so glad you sent them, otherwise, I would have virtually no evidence that I had actually gone. XD I'm really kicking myself that I didn't remember my camera! We can go picture crazy together, next time. XD

      Same! My laptop is so big and heavy, so I really am glad I didn't end up lugging it around. But if I had a smaller one, I would definitely use it. Or, yeah, just learn to write faster, that would be nice. XD

      Haha, I almost feel kind of bad for taking the breaks, but then I have to tell myself that I wouldn't be able to function properly without at least one or two. XD Extroverted writers do seem to be few and far between! (That's why I put the 'nearly' in my paragraph about the majority of us being introverted. I knew you weren't. XD)

      I'm glad you think so! That would be so wonderful, I hope so too! ❤


  4. It was soooooo fun to meet you!!!!

    Also, I am terrible about taking pictures, as well… as far as I can figure, I took like 6 pictures, and half of those were of the waterfall. LOL You’d think my “taking pictures of Hobbits” skill would come in handy, but it was like every time I was around anyone someone cast a spell on me that specifically removed the memory from my mind that a device that can capture images even exists!

    I do think Derek got a couple, but they’re still on his phone because I’m obvs super awesome about remembering to ask him to send them to me.

    I kinda wish I hadn’t signed up for any appointments. I mean, they were all good experiences, but they were also super stressful. I definitely tried too hard to DO ALL THE THINGS because I was determined not to miss anything… next time (whenever that happens to be), I’m going to focus on having fun and talking to people.

    I handed out ONE business card. (Derek may have given out more) I, too, completely forgot that was a thing, even though I actually got some specifically for Realm Makers! LOL

    Loved this post! Great tips! Wish I had read it before I went!!! 😀 (Where is that flying blue box when you really need it?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh… and THANK YOU so much for linking to my recap post!! 🙂 That was super sweet of you.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It was so nice meeting you toooooooo!! 😀

      I KNOW. I was sooo bad about taking pictures and I hate myself for it! I did get a few, but they’re not very clear and you have to squint to make out any faces. XD Oh I know! It’s like the thought of ‘oh, I should be taking pictures’ never even crossed my mind. Grr. XD

      I can see where it would be stressful. I personally think it would be a great experience to have, to kind of get an idea of what editors/agents think like, what they’re looking for. Yeah, I could see myself being a real perfectionist about it and making myself nervous about it. XD

      I probably only would’ve handed out one too, honestly. XD There was one (maybe two) instance I could think of where I could’ve really used one. But they’re still just nice to have. 🙂

      Aww, thanks! Haha, that police box sure would come in handy. ^_^


  5. Abbey Stellingwerff Avatar
    Abbey Stellingwerff

    Lovely post, Madeline! I never would have considered business cards. Hopefully, I can go next year and get one of yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank, Abbey! I think they would be a nice thing to have on hand, should the need for one arise. That would be wonderful! 😀 I hope you can go next year!


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