Attending a writer’s conference is hard if you are trying to write. After all, how many people say they want to write a book and never do? But you are out there, trying and learning and maybe even overloaded by the wealth of resources on the internet telling you how to do it and what the rules are.
What are they again?
The one thing you’ll consistently see is “Get Thee To a Writer’s Conference!”
Sure. I’m struggling to pay the bills and writing is earning me nothing and to get ahead I have to spend money to go to a writer’s conference. I could self-pub for free without leaving my cozy home and spending hundreds of dollars.
I hear ya. Boy, do I hear ya.
I wrote for years and started connecting with some other writers in my area and that was great. But I longed to get to a conference. I had no means to do it.
Somehow I did it. And here’s what I learned.
1. They get me there! There is a community and support like no other when you attend a writer’s conference. Especially a Christian one. Wow. These are all people who understand the struggle to grasp some concepts and they are more than eager to help anyone else who is struggling. You come home when you are a writer’s conference.
2. We all have different learning styles but in the busyness of life, how often do you sit and read all those blogs or books or attend all those webinars? Getting to a conference takes you out of the distractions of daily life so you can focus on your craft and grow.
3. You come away with things money really can’t buy: a with a few more tools in your belt, inspiration for the journey ahead and new friends. (Friends who might even help you promote a book some day? Just sayin’!)
4. Rub shoulders with industry professionals. Maybe you don’t have a book to pitch (yet!). Go and meet with editors and agents anyway. Get to know them. Pick their brains. Ask for advice. They are human just like you and eager to help writers make it to the next steps – because if you do and do it well, they might someday make money off of you! And you never know how those connections and relationship (if positive) might benefit you down the line. I’ve referred people to others at conferences when I thought that what they have that other editor might be interested in. You just never know, but if you go with a positive attitude and a desire to learn, you might just find out.
If attending a conference seems too difficult or expensive here’s my suggestion. Start small. Attend a day conference near you. (save the cost of hotel). Or only go for a shorter time. Some conferences offer scholarships. Humble yourself and apply for one. It won’t pay for everything but it can put that opportunity within your reach. No one you meet up with will know how you got there, nor will they care. The fact is you made it.
The first conference I attended opened so many doors for me that it’s hard to describe. The relationships and connections I made have enriched my life. Maybe I’ll meet at one in the future because I hope you’ll go.