Last week our writer’s group got together to start planning our conference for this year. I’m relatively new to the group – about 3 years in – but apparently we’ve done these conferences in the past. It fell off for awhile and then last year we started it up again. There were some kinks to be sure, but we had about 60 people attend our “first” year and everyone expressed great thanks for the job well done. It spurred us to do it again this year.
Planning a conference – even a one day like we have – is no easy feat. It’s over 6 months away, but so much has to be planned, decided on and brainstormed that starting this early is key.
One thing I admire about our group is that we pull together and everyone helps out. Even our husbands & wives get in on the act. We have a couple of accountants and, this year, one engineering spouse. To be honest, they don’t know what to make of most of us writers, but they do a fine job helping out and being good helpmates for us all. What a blessing they are. Last year my husband and another husband worked the bookstore, sound and helped with lunch. Another members wife helped make our keynote speaker feel at home and became his “bodyguard” for the day. All so their spouses could try and actually enjoy the conference and help make the conference a success.
Another aspect I love about conferences is that no matter what your particular brand of writing is; romance, speculative fiction, personal experience, devotionals or just blogging; you get exposed to a lot of other genres. Last year we had a lot of spec fic (or science fiction-esque) people and it spurred me, the blog-writing-personal-experience-chick, to break out of my box and try it. I’ve experimented on Fridays, as many of you know, with a bit of a paranormal type story. And it’s gotten some good feedback. I thank conferences for the push that it took to put that out there.
Finally, the aspect that I love the most is meeting all sorts of new people. Because our particular group is a Christian group it is a very loving and supportive group as well. We pray for one another, share in each other’s heartaches and successes, and give each other boosts when we need them. I’ve connected to many on Facebook too and, after knowing them in person just one day, I can touch base with them all the time and receive great feedback on my writing. They are like family almost.
It’s a network of people all helping each other. And it started at a one day conference.
If you’re interested in writing and want to check us out you can follow our group on Facebook here or check out our website here. Info on our October conference will be there soon. We hope you can join us!