Just as Memorial Day begins our summer season, May seems to begin our conference season. And just like Memorial Day where we spend time with family and friends as we celebrate and remember, writers conferences are a time to meet and renew friendships with writing family, to celebrate, and to remember.
Writing can be a very solitary experience as we sit at our computers or typewriters or pads of paper and toll away at our stories and articles and books. And yet as solitary as the writing life can be, most writers long for the fellowship of other people who understand their eccentricities, who have heard voices in their heads, seen faces in their dreams, and who wake up at night with a great opening line or conflict or plot point screaming to be written down.
In other words, conferences are great places to meet people just like us.
Conferences are great places to celebrate successes and commiserate rejections and encourage those who are wavering in their writing lives. And even if you always seem to celebrate someone else’s successes and commiserate your own rejections, remember that any time you encourage you are building the Kingdom of God, uplifting His people, and fulfilling His calling on your life.
Conferences are also useful for the memories they create. It’s nice to meet up with fellow writers who weren’t published the last time you saw them, or maybe they were published but not in hardcover. Or maybe the triumph isn’t even about publishing, but they have finally gotten the courage to make an appointment with an editor, or talk to an agent about their books.
There are plenty of great conferences available. Ask a fellow writer for their recommendations. Check out Sally Stuart’s Market Guide. Search online for conferences catering to your genre or market niche.
Consider every conference as an opportunity for ministry. Go with a heart open to what God wants to accomplish. Be willing to be open and vulnerable, eager to help someone else feel better about their writing.
And then watch as God works a miracle in you and in your writing.