Why attend a conference? There’s a lot to consider. Let’s start with the substantive considerations—first, the expense. Are you making money writing books? The expense of attending is deductible from your taxes. Not published yet? A conference is an investment in your writing career.
How about the time factor? An entire weekend. Or for some conferences, like the RWA National Conference that will be held in San Diego in a little over a month, closer to a week. Preregistration for it is open until June 14th, for more information click here.
Think about it–If you can’t free up weekend, how are you ever going to find the time to write a book?
Now the more esoteric—if you have just decided you want to write and need to see what the process is all about, a conference will be a real eye-opener. The craft classes are critical. Concentrate on those.
Been writing for a while? You can hone your craft and learn about the business.
Seasoned writer, Indy Published, traditionally published or ahybrid writer? Craft classes still matter, the
business info is always good to have, and the expert panels are great places to get information on cops, EMTs, 19th century under garments—experts love to talk to writers and we love to listen and ask questions.
But the most important reason? Because writers’ conferences are full of other writers. This is where you fill the well. This is where you make friends who will back you up, nag you to finish a book, and help you plot a scene that is just not working.
Writing is such a solitary occupation and at conferences you hang out with people who ‘get’ you. People who understand that when you are sitting at a very classy Sunday brunch with your in-laws and the string quartet unloads the harp, you are wondering if a dead body will fit in the harp case.
If you ask that question to regular people (aka everyone but us) they will look at you as if you’ve lost your mind, the same way they would if you made the comment that your heroine is off doing something you had not planned for her to do.
So, the best reason to attend a conference is friends, those you have and those you will make. People who ‘get’ you!
She’s one of the founding Committee Members for the California Dreamin’ Writers Conference and a member of the San Diego RWA chapter.
Jill’s favorite pastime is to gather friends and family for good food, conversation and plenty of laughter.