The conference is over and it was not anticlimactic in the least: I got some incredible validation that the writing I’m doing is on the right track in the last few hours of the conference.
Usually the conference goes way too fast and I’m left feeling dazed and vaguely wanting. This year… not. It still went by really fast but it didn’t seem to be quite so breath-stealingly fast this year, maybe because of the extra session I attended on Friday.
I took tons and tons of notes – things to watch out for in my writing, books to read, people to network with, quotes to look up (some of them were long and I need to find the rest!), and blog posts to write.
One of my notes was about how conferences are so, so important to a writer. It came up a few times this weekend how lonely a job writing can be. Think about it: you’re alone in your living room, study, bedroom, kitchen, wherever, writing. Even if you’re in a crowded coffee shop, no one knows what you’re doing so you might as well be alone. Going to conferences helps because you get to meet other writers (and illustrators) who know what you’re going through. Even more, they might be able to help you with what you’re stuck on, and vice versa. (Side note: critique groups are also good for this; really gotta get me one of those one of these days.)
Obviously the really big thing about going to a writing conference is the learning. If you’re fortunate and have a great conference (and anything done by SCBWI is guaranteed to be a great conference), you’ll have an amazing range of talent, skill, and experience to learn from. I’m going to be absorbing the weekend for a long time to come, paging through my notes and the feedback I received on the first five pages of my MS, and thinking over the conversations I had and the sessions I attended.
Dang. I’m getting tired just thinking about it all. So that’s it for me. No – no word count today. Tomorrow for sure.