Three years ago I went to my first writing conference: LDS Storymakers 2010 in Provo, Utah. I had been writing for about a year and I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere that writing conferences were good for some reason. Can't remember what that specific reason was, but nonetheless I bought a ticket and made plans to go.
I was nervous about going alone, worried that I wouldn't fit in, unsure about what I was getting myself into, etc. So I convinced a friend from Vegas to go with me. When we sat down on the first day for the opening remarks, a very friendly girl across the table started talking to me (rather loudly). She and her friend wanted to know what my book was about and what genre it was. I think I said something about a girl who saw things and liked a boy who wasn't what he seemed...I was rambling and I looked like a total idiot.
It was classic! I had no idea what I was talking about. I didn't know how to pitch my book, talk about myself, I didn't even know what genre I was writing in. That friendly girl across the table not only ended up becoming my writing partner but one of my best friends. And the girl next to her, who was more mild mannered but equally friendly, is the true north part of our writing trifecta:
The value of conferences is far more important than learning a few tips on craft or the opportunity to meet agents. The decision I made three years ago to attend that conference changed the trajectory of my life. I became a writer surrounded by other writers who taught me how to grow. I am so grateful for Erin and Peggy, and the knowledge, joy and laughter they have brought into my life.
I am also grateful to so many more writing friends I've met along the way. I wish that I could post a picture of the dozens of friends I've met on this writing journey, but I only have a few from this weekend at Storymakers 2013:
Any life-changing conferences out there?