Sunday, September 15, 2013

Recharge:Attend a Writers Conference


My "Inspirations"from the 2013
League of Utah Writers Conference
Thanks Amryn, Brittany, Les, Cheree, and Ron

Writing is a solitary activity. Writers need to get out and talk to other writers struggling with time lines, outlines, characterizations, plots, point of views, editing, publishers, queries, marketing, etc.
Conferences are the place where writers get this type of support. Yes, critique groups, small writing chapters are supportive, but the synergy of a conference cannot be measured by dollars and cents. A unique aspect of a conference is its energ. The exchanges of conversations between fledgling writers and published authors, presenters and struggling wordcrafters, the one on one exchanges fuel the gathering.

It doesn't matter if you attend a conference of 65 attendees or  500, it is those intimate exchanges which make a writer take stock. It is in one of those moments an ideas arrives, a timeline is adjusts, the "knotty" problem with your character or villain unravels.

Like all learning, which I personally believe is continuous, one needs to be open to it. Sophie Littefield, author and presenter, (League of Utah Writers Conferences, 2013), spoke about ways to strengthen a writer's determination. One of her talking points was "Know your Community." She spoke about knowing other writers, publishing trends, existing agencies, current genres and rising trends. She insisted writing was more than pen to paper. She told us to go out and learn from one another.

Yes, you may run into a presenter you find to be dull and whose material is not as interesting as you thought. Yet, you could leave and enter another session or stay and see if the information has merit for another use. You could ask a table mate at lunch or a break, if they every thought about using the presenter's techniques, allowing you to learn something from someone else. New knowledge doesn't have to come from a presenter, but from a friendly, collegial writer who buoys your spirits and sends you home with new resolve. You are recharged and ready to take on the blank page.


If you are just venturing into the world of writing or are a battle weary veteran of the craft, you should always consider attending a Writers' Conference. Yes, I know they can be pricey. Sometimes it requires airfare or a long distance drive and a hotel room for a day or two. Plus, you have to juggle your schedule and your family life to manage it. Then again it maybe you might have to get out of your sweats or whatever you wear when you write, find someone to feel the cat or walk the dog, get into semi-business like clothes and go out in public. Believe me it is worth it. As, the picture at top demonstrates, writers need writers to recharge.

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