Sunday, February 14, 2010

Writer's Conferences

Writers are supposed to go to writers' conferences.  It's a great networking opportunity, a chance to learn more about your craft, a chance to ask the more successful authors for tips, a chance to meet agents and publishers.  It's a great opportunity all the way around.  The catch, is that a majority of writers tend to be  . . . is the right word antisocial?  They tend to prefer sitting alone, at the computer (or typewriter), creating an alternate universe to the company of crowds of people.

I'm starting preparations to go to the Chicago writer's conference, which is always a very nice event.  The North Shore Chapter of RWA does a great job putting it together and they've always been friendly and helpful.  I've posted many times that I work a seasonal day job.  And the season is spring (and autumn, but that's beside the point).  This conference always falls in the spring which, for most people, is a great time to get out and enjoy the returning pleasant weather, to break out of our winter prisons.  For me, its a time of tremendous pressure and stress, and yet, the conference provides a nice break from all of that.  Coupled with that, its a conscious "turning on" of the personality.  In order to network, I have to make a concerted effort to be outgoing (which I don't come by naturally).  It's a break out of my comfort zone.  And it's always rewarding, as difficult as it is to get time off from the day job at this time of year.  This is a source of great stress, but at the same time, it's one of those things I do for me.  Work life balance, doncha know, and a chance to show a different side of my personality that stays hidden for large periods of time.  That outgoing stuff?  It's something I've learned through the years.  Credit it to a great speech teacher in high school, coaxing out shy, introverted kids to be able to address a room full of people.  I've always been a quick learner, and I understand the application of those lessons to my daily life.  Do I wish I was an outgoing person?  The life of the party?  Nah, that's not me.  I can do it when I have to, and I don't mind, but I'm just as happy sitting quietly in the corner, observing the rest of the room.  In the end, that's what writer's are best at.  Observing, imagining and putting the stories that come into your head onto "paper."

For those of you that are in the Chicago area toward the end of April, stop by and buy some books!  Coupled with the conference will be a book signing featuring Cherry Adair and Julia Quinn, among dozens of other authors (ahem, me included).  4:30pm to 6:00 pm Saturday, April 24, 2010, at the Deerfield Hyatt.  You will be able to find details posted on my website. Visit the Events Page.
Chicago Spring Fling Book Signing.


  1. Have a great time. I'm not going to be in that part of the country, but Cherry & Julia were featured at the last Emerald City conference I attended and they're great fun.

    I'm looking into Colorado conferences now. Less than 2 weeks until we move.

  2. Good luck on the move - marking one week until your birthday and counting ;-)

  3. Always comforting to realise that other writers are working outside their comfort zones too. Thanks for this.

  4. My pleasure, Sheila. Sometimes these conferences are almost like support groups for writers. I went to one where I felt out of my league on the first day after smiling and shaking hands and promoting, and then on the second day, out of gas and ready to go home, I went to some break out sessions that renewed my faith in me. We are not alone! :-)