Are Writers’ Conferences Worthwhile?

climberWRITING CONFERENCES ARE NOT THIS HARD!

Going to a writing conference isn’t going to help you much with rock climbing (at least I don’t think it will … you never know), but a great reason to attend one … perhaps the best reason … is simply to meet other writers.

If you’re anything like me, the non-writers in your family look at you like you’re nuts when you simply stare at your computer screen because the right words just won’t come.

However, a fellow writer would understand a period of writer’s block and empathize with your lack of sleep while your characters won’t speak to you. They understand how difficult writing can be.

Besides gathering their empathy, it helps to hear about their successes … and their failures. Believe me, I know. If nothing else, it verifies you’re not alone.

If you don’t attend a regular critique or writers’ group, I think it’s important to find a good writing conference once in a while, with some real, live human beings with whom to share your experiences, joys, and heartaches.

Improving Your Craft
I’ve attended local area conferences before, and I’ll also be attending the Rochester Writers’ Spring Conference at Oakland University this Saturday, April 25, 2015. The emphasis of this particular conference is social media for writers.

What’s in it for me? I already have a well-followed blog, a web site, a Book of Face page, an author page on Goodreads, an Author’s Database page, a page on the Twitter, and a media page.

What am I going to learn that I don’t already know?

That’s just it … I won’t know until the session ends, but I’ve never attended one of Mike Dwyer’s conferences where I didn’t learn something of value.

I think it has a lot to do with wanting to improve my craft. I often have a “light bulb” moment while at the conference, even if I’ve heard the speaker or topic before. Something will just click and maybe even solve a problem I’ve been having with my writing.

Plus, when other enthusiastic writers and editors surround you for a day, how can you help but leave inspired?

Don’t Be Shy
The number one tip when attending this, or any, conference is don’t be shy. If you truly want to get anything out of it you have to be willing to talk to people.

Remember, most of the people around you want to improve their craft, get published and sell their books … just like you. So a great opening line is, “What do you write?” Writers loved to be asked this question because it lets them talk about their work.

Do Your Homework
Before you arrive at a conference, it’s important to have educated yourself about the speakers. Do your homework. Research to see what they’ll be speaking about, so you don’t waste your time.

For the Rochester Writers’ Spring Conference I already know who the speakers are and the subjects they’re going to be covering. I also know which ones I think will interest me the most.

Be Choosy
Remember to find a conference that fits you. Don’t go to the Western Writers of America if you want to learn more about the proper way to be using social media to promote your work.

Come to Michael’s conference this weekend instead. You’ll learn a lot, meet some fascinating people and I’ll be sure to say hello.

 

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My books have garnered some terrific reviews. You can see the stories I have available by using the Amazon link below.

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You’re also invited to visit my website, BROKEN GLASS, or like my Book of Face page. You can also follow my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

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Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

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23 Responses to “Are Writers’ Conferences Worthwhile?”

  1. roughwighting Says:

    Good points here. I know of some writers who go to so many writers’ conferences, they don’t have time to write, so I’m leery of that. On the other hand, if a writer picks and chooses carefully, I agree with you that you can come away with inspiration and pointers that will help your writing. I teach creative writing classes, and find that I enjoy meeting with/talking with other writers that way, also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ron Herron Says:

      I enjoy the comraderie, but I go to conferences only once or twice a year, and then only after I’m sure there’s something to take away (or, in the case of my presenting a couple of years ago, something I can share).

      I love the written word. Have always loved storytelling, ever since I was little. http://www.ronaldherron.com

      Liked by 1 person

  2. valerieormond Says:

    Reblogged this on Valerie Ormond's Thoughts On… and commented:
    I’ve found writers conferences to be very helpful, and I echo Ron’s recommendation to do your best to try to find the right group that works for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Let's CUT the Crap! Says:

    Thanks for the tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kylie Betzner Says:

    Great article! I’ve been wondering this myself. Going to make a goal to attend at least one this year. Sharing with my tweeps!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dray0308 Says:

    I fust followed your blog and have a question: do you attend conferences focused soley on blogging? If so would you recommend?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ron Herron Says:

      The Rochester Writers Spring Conference was the first one I’ve attended where the main focus was using social media for the writer. I found it worthwhile because it was an area where I wanted to gather more information, and see if what I was doing was the right way to go. Normally, I look at the conference to see what new things I can discover about independent publishing. I even presented in a break-out session on indie publishing at a conference a couple of years ago.

      Short answer: Always go to conferences with the intent to improve your understanding of the craft.

      Liked by 2 people

      • dray0308 Says:

        Thank you for taking your time and responding. I am considering attending a bloggers conference but am apprehensive. Not for lack of confidence, but from the stand point of wasting my time. I will take your advice and attend one that i find has quality speakers and informative topics. I look forward to following!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ron Herron Says:

          I suppose it depends on how comfortable you are with blogging right now. I write my blog for two reasons: 1) to help other indie authors and 2) to promote my own fiction. I try to keep a decent balance between the two, always trying to lean closer to the “helping” side. There are enough folks out there shouting “Buy my books!” already.

          Liked by 1 person

          • dray0308 Says:

            I will take what you have said and think it through. And I agree that helping others is important. I have met too many self-focused authors that only promote themselves. If you help others, they will return you the favor by promoting you even if in small ways. Great talking!

            Liked by 1 person

  6. The Story Reading Ape Says:

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Sound advice from Ronald 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. T. W. Dittmer Says:

    I planned on attending your book signing in Utica last week. Minor health issues got in the way (nothing serious, just an annual cold/flu bug). Sorry I missed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ron Herron Says:

      Sorry you couldn’t make it. I would have been looking forward to a few more friendly faces. Sold about ten books, so it wasn’t too bad a day. Weather was nice, which probably kept attendance down. 😦

      Hope you’re feeling better.

      Liked by 1 person

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