Regardless of the stage in your writing life my answer is a resounding YES!
There are many reasons to attend such an event. These motives are different for each writer, and change from year to year and conference to conference.
No one conference is the same as another. While the format may be the same the material and presentation will differ, just like each book has its own voice even if the topic is the same. You may find one year you learn more than another year or that the conference on the east coast of the United States has a different feel than one in Ohio, California, or Alaska. Additionally, different groups focus on varying topics or genres. Don’t stop at one conference, try many.
One event may have multiple break-out sessions that will require you decide what you want to learn. While that may give you options it may also limit what you hear as you can’t be in two places at once. Some sessions may be presentations, while others are roundtables, or even nothing but a Q&A gathering. You may learn more from certain styles over others.
Five years ago, as an unpublished writer, I went to my first event, the North East Ohio Christian Writer’s Conference. I had very little knowledge about writing, editing, publishing, distribution, marketing, a multitude of other areas, and I had no friends nor associates in the business. But this first event changed all that! I met a group of writers, the International Writers Association, that had a wealth of knowledge and information. I joined and have belonged ever since.
Sometimes the most impactful material isn’t from a presenter but from a one-on-one conversation you had in the hallway between sessions or over lunch with a stranger. That big idea could be a tip on the best way to market your bee-keepers book, format your space travel novel, or how to get rid of butterflies before speaking. You may have to stretch past your comfort zone and talk to others to gain this advantage but it’s so worth the effort. Make it a goal to talk to at least two people you don’t know. At my last conference I met two different writers that dressed up as Santa during the holidays!
There’s nothing like a room full of like-minded people, all eager to learn! The energy is contagious and can spark increased motivation for your own work. Seek out positive individuals to help drive your muse.
At some writer events I’ve given presentations or sat on panels, others I’ve only attended as a paid guest. But every time I’ve learned something useful for my craft or business and generally can help other writers with their hurdles. I look forward to attending the next event and can only image how I’ll be impacted or in what way I’ll help another.
The NEOCWC’s annual conference is next month in Ohio! Pre-registration is not necessary so just show up if you’re in the area. If you missed this year’s event mark your calendar for the next presentation or look for other events in your area.
Have you attended a writer’s conference? How did it impact you?
Richard E Todd, author of The Golf Rules series, Short Stories from the Long Links, and other titles has been heard on the PGA Tour radio station and seen in On The Green magazine. Contact him at Richard@AuthorRichardETodd.com and follow him on social media and at www.AuthorRichardETodd.com ✍ and www.TheGolfRules.com.⛳.