Last weekend, I attended my very first writers conference--all by myself. Still not sure if going alone was a good decision or not.
I learned some new things about writing and was reminded about a lot of things that I knew at one point or another but had forgotten. It was only two days, but it felt a bit like information overload by the end of the day on Saturday. Fortunately, I took lots of notes and have links to several of the presenters websites, so I'll have a little more time to absorb the info and apply it to my writing. And I'll be sharing what I learned with all of you in my upcoming posts over the next few months.
I also learned (or was reminded) of a few things about myself. One of the biggest things being that I'm really terrible at social situations, especially when I'm alone. Small talk is my nemesis and a lot of times when I'm nervous I turn into the babbling idiot, which is always awesome. I'm really glad I did some research on conferences before I left and realized people were going to ask me about my book (duh), so I had a brief description to give, though every time I said it, my brain screamed at me how lame it was, which led to my biggest realization of the weekend.
Nothing makes me feel like poser more than being around other writers.
It's really easy to get comfortable in the bubble of my regular life. I don't know any writers outside the internet. Not that I haven't had the opportunity, but somehow there's always a reason I can't make it to whatever local event is happening. It took me four years to get up the nerve to go to this conference, so maybe it's me and not just that I'm super busy all the time. ;)
When non-writerly people ask me about my writing, I know how to respond, well, most of the time, and I've come to terms with the fact that most of them don't know what it takes to make it. Getting asked the same questions from other writers is a completely different and terrifying experience. I think it added a new level to my crazy.
It wasn't all bad, or even mostly bad. Like I said, I learned a lot. I also got to meet--in the real world!--a few of the awesome people I've known through blogging for several years, so that was fun. Overall, it was a good experience and I think next time will be better now that I know what to expect.
So what about all of you? Have you been to a writers conference? Did you love it? Hate it? Something in between? What was your favorite part? Least favorite?