This past weekend I had a fantastic time speaking at the Writer’s Digest annual writing conference, in New York. They’ve been holding this conference for years, and it shows in its well-oiled unfolding and high caliber of presentations. It’s a pleasure to be there to speak, but I tell you, I still fondly remember the years when I attended writing conferences as an aspiring writer–the froth of excitement and nerves in my chest as I walked past authors I admired, agents I wanted to pitch, and so on.
In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there are a lot of wonderful reasons to go to conferences, and writers should be reminded why.
The reasons you should go do not include a guarantee that you’ll get an agent, or that editor at the publishing house will hand you a book contract. The reasons to go are:
- You will realize that you and your fellow writers are in it together, not competition, that everyone’s path is so different.
- You’ll receive at least one, if not ten, pieces of information about the craft or the business that you have never heard before, or in a new way, changing how you write or work.
- You will realize that agents, editors and authors are just people, not intimidating monoliths of industry trying to keep you out of it.
- You will meet important people whose names you will want to hold onto
- You’ll be inspired. It’s almost impossible not to feel excited and enthused after listening to people share their journeys to success, their love of the craft, their dedication to literature.
- You’ll come home with a clearer picture of what you want and what you need to do to
In other news:
If you haven’t heard, my new novel Women in Red has been published.
Here are some other articles you may have missed:
Back to School? I’m in Denial at Mom.me
5 Cutting Edge Treatments for Inflammatory Diseases at Mental Floss
The First Humans to Live to 150 Are Already Alive at GOOD Magazine