Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Inspiration is a wonderful thing. It can pick you up when you have fallen. Jump-start your engine when it’s been stalled with plot problems. Shock you to life when you’ve been paralyzed from a rejection that dashed your hopes.
Writers and readers alike seek inspiration to get over life’s speed bumps, so it’s hardly surprising that there are 120 thousand inspirational books listed on Amazon.
For writers, there’s Dare to Dream, Cup of Comfort, Bird by Bird, The Writer’s Life, Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul, Dare to Dance, and hundreds more.
For me, nothing fluffs my creative feathers better than a writer’s conference. Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ annual conference starts in four days. As a matter of fact, Pamela Nowak, one of our Author Expressions contributors, is the conference chair and she has terrific speakers and workshops planned. I’ll be presenting a workshop on writing strong scenes and my workshop and the conference couldn’t come at a better time. I broke my collar bone and dislocated my shoulder on August 4th and am still mired in the pain and challenges of recovery. I need a jump-start, tune-up, new transmission, overhaul, and fresh paint all around.
Here are Top Ten Reasons why writer’s conferences inspire:
10. Break free from the house. Writing is a solitary profession.
9. Learn that you’re not alone. It’s encouraging to learn that other writers have problems similar to yours, that you’re not the only one who has problems plotting or developing characters, for example.
8. Find new writer friends. Friends who write in the same genre as you do, friends who are also interested in critique, friends who have experiences and stories to share.
7. Find exciting new books to read, both fiction and nonfiction craft books.
6. Discover new technologies and processes. New software and products are being introduced at warp speed. Which best serve needs of the writer? Just ask at a conference, and you’ll receive instant feedback.
5. Hear success stories from writers like you. I’ve heard about writers who received ghastly rejection letters that made mine look tame. I’ve heard of writers who struggled so much that they had to live in their car, then went on to success. Learning of hardships overcome is wonderfully inspiring.
4. Sharpen your craft. Conferences offer instruction and workshops that address the challenges of plotting, writing and marketing your fiction novel.
3. Meet editors and agents. It’s exciting to meet the gatekeepers, to talk with the people who buy the books. They share market insights and explain their daily needs and challenges.
2. Connect and laugh with your writer friends. Life is richer with friends. They support us when we’re down, celebrate with us when we’re up, and they remind us that life is good.
1. Network/share information. Knowledge is power. Conferences offer intellectual stimulation and insight into the publishing industry.
Do you enjoy conferences? Please share your best memory of a writer’s conference, and how it inspired you.