The Right Stuff: When a Writing Convention Kicks Butt

Connie Willis

Image by Road Dog via Flickr

I have met all sorts of people in my life.  Let me tell you, I have never felt as star struck as I felt in the last two days.

Even though I still have one more day at the writer‘s convention, I know beyond a doubt that attending was one of the best choices of my life. Before I went, I found a few sites online as well as read several (read: more than a dozen) books on how to write, market, publish, and anything else a writer wants to know.

Most of them said only to attend conferences at your own risk.

Best risk I’ve ever taken.

Barring the fourteen pages of excellent notes I’ve taken throughout the workshops, I also have a few, more personal, things I’ve learned so far.

  1. People want to talk to you.
  2. Going alone is a great idea.
  3. Editors and agents really are people just like the rest of us (I truly didn’t believe that until I saw it with my own eyes).
  4. Everyone I’ve met loves to tell stories.
  5. I have more potential than I give myself credit for.
  6. The tips and tricks you can learn from experienced writers are endless.
  7. I am not just strange, but have many natural “writer” personality quirks that every other writer shares.
  8. Critique groups are essential.

I overhead my new rock star, Connie Willis, saying, “If you enjoy writing, then you’re not doing it right.”  Everyone in the room cracked up.  Clearly, writers have a deep passion for writing (why else would we lock ourselves up for months at a time to hammer out hundreds of pages of words only so they can be rejected over and over again?).  But all that passion doesn’t always translate to joy.  Just think of your own great passions.

As for the convention nay-sayers, well, perhaps they have been writing for so many years they had forgotten the absolute fear, ignorance, and naivety that goes along with being an amateur writer.  But if your looking for support, companionship, and knowledge, a writer’s convention is the place to be.

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2 thoughts on “The Right Stuff: When a Writing Convention Kicks Butt

  1. Pingback: Finish that Novel! « Caution: Woman Writing

  2. Pingback: Why We Still Write When We Seem Unhappy & Georges Simenon: Day 19 of Project 365 « Writer's Code

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