My area writers’ group, DFW Writers’ Workshop, is gearing up to host its annual event, so conferences have definitely been on my mind. If you’ve ever been to one hosted by another stellar organization such as SCBWI or RWA, I probably don’t have to explain you how worthwhile they can be. But if you haven’t ever registered for one, let me convince you to get thee to a conference like DFWcon.
1. A conference can connect you.
Writing can be a lonely pursuit. Between you and the page, there may be nothing but a sense of isolation and creeping doubt. But when writers get together to learn from professionals and from each other, bonds are formed. Beyond the panels and the pitch sessions, there are endless opportunities to interact with other like-minded folks. I can’t tell you how many of my friends--online and IRL--I’ve met at conferences. I love that my circle of friends grows larger and more interconnected with each event!
2. A conference can equip you.
If you’re like me, you’re always looking for learning opportunities. You’re always stretching for the words just beyond your reach. Conferences and workshops expose you to new ideas and experiences, elements that are crucial to a writer's development. If I had a dollar for every lightbulb moment I’ve had during a DFW event, I’d have more than enough cash to buy lattes for life.
3. A conference can motivate you.
Have you been working on the same book for years? Are you stuck in revision hell? Have you started seven short stories and three novels, yet never quite finished anything? If so, saddle up and register for a conference with agent and editor faculty. The thought of pitching a polished project may be just the kick in the pants you need to get writing again. (Have I mentioned fabulous Sara, my own agent, will be fielding pitches and speaking at DFWcon????)
3. A conference can inspire you.
Few writers scribble out eighty thousand words and stumble into instant success. Publishing is a tough business, and writers often need more than mental toughness to make it very far. Conferences foster a sense of community and they help writers develop a strong support system--one that’s able to sustain them through setbacks and rejection and one that’s also able to spur them on. Many a workshop friend or panelist has inspired me to keep doing that impossible thing--to keep writing no matter what.
These are just a few of the many things a conference can do for you.
I’m fortunate to live in the Dallas area, where I can enjoy the camaraderie and the rich learning environment of both DFW Workshop and DFWcon. If you’re able to join us, Sara and I will be participating in a few sessions, and I’d love to meet you! If not, why not give another conference a try? Check out what SCBWI and many other fabulous groups have to offer--you might find yourself in the midst of something amazing. You may find a place in a vibrant community of writers.