I recently attended my first local Writer’s Conference, held by the Rochester Writers group, and I have to say…I am hooked! When I paid for a full day of seminars, I had no idea that what I would actually leave with, was months worth of inspiration and ideas that I could put into practice right away. The speakers were excellent and straight to the point, sharing their experiences with things such as finding an agent, whether or not to self-publish, and how to market yourself effectively. If you are serious about writing, here are a few reasons you should consider attending a conference in your area:
- It gets you out of your writing cave – If you are a writer you know exactly what I am taking about and you know that without human interaction your stories and plots would be…well blah. If nothing else, attending the conference gets you out into the real world, interacting with real people. Much better than talking to the imaginary ones you create, trust me.
- It allows you to network with other writers – This is a huge reason to attend, especially if you aren’t part of a critique group who meets on a regular basis. Receiving feedback from other authors and sharing experiences is invaluable as you complete your work and attempt to market it. In my experience, other writers are always willing to help, answer questions, or provide guidance when asked. Tapping into their experience can save you a lot of work in the long run.
- It provides you with writing tools – The topics we discussed ranged from “How to Build a Writing Career” to “Creating Credible Law Enforcement Characters” and the speakers were engaging and knowledgeable. I made special use of the Q&A available during each session, to ask questions about things I struggled with in my writing. As a new author, it helps me to know that these successful authors have been through some of the same issues, and have found ways to overcome them.
- It energizes your Psyche – This is by far the most valuable thing that I came out of this experience with. Being around people who shared the same passion, filled me with a sense of belonging and the desire to continue to grow and evolve as a writer. For me that is priceless.
If you are unable to commit to a conference at this time, I highly recommend that you attend local writing group activities in your area. They typically are held at little or no cost and most actively seek members. Not sure where to look? Ask your local libraries, book stores or schools. They should be able to send you in the right direction. For those ready to find a conference, here are a few links to get you started: