My posts this week are coming to you from the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in North Carolina! This is my first opportunity to attend Blue Ridge, and I am LOVING it. The area is beautiful, the atmosphere is encouraging and God-filled, and the workshops and speakers are wonderful. Plus, I came with three ladies from home, and the time getting to share our passion for writing with each other is a blessing.
If you are a writer, I encourage you to not only find a local group for support and encouragement but also to keep learning. There is so much information available to help writers improve their craft and the business side of writing.
Conferences are not mandatory, but in my opinion they are necessary. Conferences put you in contact with other writers who are dealing with the same struggles and successes you are. There is power in that connection. But their benefit doesn’t stop there.
Agents and publishers are often available for meetings. Ideas can be pitched and brains can be picked at this meetings. Yesterday I met with a wonderful woman who I simply spoke with about my successes and failures at social media use. I left feeling much better about where I am at in the process. Tomorrow, I’m going to speak with an agent about the feasibility of finding a publisher for an idea I’m toying with. If you want to meet with a well-known author to tell them you admire their work, that’s good too.
In addition to meeting authors, agents, and publishers, conferences are a treasure trove of information. Some workshops are better than others, but I can only think of one time I left a workshop (at a different conference) without getting anything from it. This conference has had amazing presenters on all aspects of the writing journey. Most of my classes are focusing on the business side of writing. I chose them that way. Others in my group are going for craft related workshops. Your conference time can be tailored to your specific needs.
All of these things are wonderful benefits of conferences, but there is one more very important benefit. When you leave the conference, you will go home with a renewed fire to get back to your laptop and get your story (or article or book) finished.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a workshop to get to!