Here’s the thing, I will be attending and teaching at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Dallas later this week. I love writer’s conferences for three reasons. Only three? Well, yes, there are more I suppose but there are three that really make it worth the price of admission.
The first reason: Community. I get to see friends, some dear friends I only get to see at conferences because we live in separate states. Well, usually I’m in the state of confusion but you get the idea. It’s great time to hug and catch up on family and career. To compare notes as it were about what’s been happening for the last year. Isn’t it funny how long a year can seem but when it has passed we look back and say, gee that was fast. It is so important for writers to have this time with like-minded people because writing is such a solitary profession. And be honest, no one else understands you. And as much as I like that about my career, even I, the Secretary of Introversion enjoy talking with other writers and editors. I learn so much from these discussions, usually unplanned and often unexpected as folks gather in the hotel lobby or the nearby Starbucks. And I always walk away from these meetings energized and eager to keep writing. Cheerleaders.
The second reason: Classes. I love, love, love to teach. I always enjoy presenting to a class of new and even established writers. I enjoy the interaction the questions, the playful banter—and yes, I will tell the turkey story. I like it when I say something that makes a difference I someone’s writing or career. Not that it’s of me, no, God gets the glory here folks. I just follow His lead and yet I always come away from a class feeling as though I learned so much. Then, if I can I can attend a class taught by a comrade. There is nothing quite like peer learning, if that’s even a way to put it. In any case, it’s nice to hear how the others do it and to know I am not alone when I feel like tossing the laptop out the window. Camaraderie.
The third reason: Career. It is one of the few times I get to sit with my editors, publicists, and my agent face-to-face, not on the phone or via email and chat. Now this is some great conference activity. I enjoy the discussions, the planning of the next novel or the next three novels, the back and forth of these conversations. Career.
So, if you’ll be attending ACFW, come find me, hang out in the lobby with me, visit my class. I’m teaching the Middle Grade track. I’ll be wearing my Chucks.