Writing attracts quiet, soft introverted people. We like to write in the dark. We like to sit by ourselves. We like to cuddle with our fur babies and muse over the worlds that we create without interruption from real life. Often, the reason we write is because its easier than talking to others and living in their busy world.
When we start growing our hobby into something more professional, we are confronted by the very extroverted truth: if you want to write professionally you must come out of your comfortable, quite places, leave your fur babies behind and… talk to people.
Writing conferences, critique groups, querying agents and (if you’re lucky enough) book signings, interviews and all the things that come with publishing are all very social oriented. The high energy demands can be taxing on us introverts. We can easily be caught in a tight cycle of anxiety- I want to be a writer because it suits all these introverted qualities I have, but because I want to be a writer I must work around those same qualities.
At least once every conference I look around myself, and think “why are we here when we would so much rather be snuggled up with our cats?”
And the answer is- it’s worth it. So worth it. And, it can be fun!
Going to a writing conference will help you meet the very people who will launch your manuscript to success. You will learn tips and strategies that will propel you from your writer’s block. Conferences give you quality one on one time with agents and publishers. Some conferences have banquets and dances and workshops where you can let your creative kite fly. There is no end to the possibilities. Still, while going to a conference is among the very best thing you can do for your writing, there are still challenges.
Conference season is upon us and if you’re especially nervous, or you dreading that feeling of exhaustion, I want to help you find ways to increase the fun. Here are a couple tips to make your experience the most enjoyable and beneficial it can be:
Four years ago, I was a new mom to a sweet 1-year-old little boy. My husband was a full time student, part-time job-holder, and I was insanely lonely, spending my days taking walks with a stroller, watching too much Netflix and working on completing a life-long dream of mine: getting published. The events of that summer, 2013, pushed me to realize I needed FRIENDS. I did the only thing I could think of at the time: I started a writing group.
It was a simple post on Facebook; a cry for help, really, because I was struggling. I set a date for a first time meet-up in my home and prayed no one crazy would show up...but also that SOMEONE would show up.
Several someones did. To this day, our group, "Writing Through Brambles", still contains most of those members from that first year of writing group. We've gained a few and lost a few along the way, but most of us are still here, and still writing.
What started as a way for me to make some friends and finish my books has grown into everything I imagined, and more. An incredible support group for writing, motherhood, and life.
We've been through at least a dozen babies being born, and several members moving away, and SO MANY THINGS, it's impossible (and impractical) to recount them all here. Suffice it to say, this is one awesome group of writers that I am proud to be part of.
We're all writers, we're all moms, writing our way through the "brambles" of life and our stories.