The Write Thing to Do
by Steph Beth Nickel
Tomorrow I will have the privilege of attending Write Canada. Although I wasn’t able to attend the entire conference this year, there are still many benefits of attending Saturday only. It was the write thing to do.
Learn New Things
Just in case you ever wondered if I’m truly eclectically interested … this year I’m taking a couple of fiction classes, “Structuring Your Fiction” with Davis Bunn and “Deep Point-of-View” with Marcy Kennedy; “Do Good Not Harm: Writing to Empower,” a class whose description begins like this: Christians are uniquely positioned to bring a message of hope and redemption to a world broken by poverty, oppression and injustice (sounds great, doesn’t it?); and finally, a panel discussion on vlogs and blogs.
Refresh and Re-ignite
It may seem strange to say that after a jam-packed day, including approximately five hours of traveling, I anticipate returning home refreshed and re-ignited to devote several hours every week to writing. There’s something about hanging out with dozens of other writers that does that to me.
Discover What’s New in the Industry
In many ways, the journey to becoming a writer isn’t what it used to be. And it certainly doesn’t look the same for every writer. Finding out what’s new in the industry is invaluable. While it may seem overwhelming, it also helps the writer plot the course that best suits him or her.
Make Professional Connections
We hear a lot about networking these days. And of course there’s the old saying, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” While that is only true to a certain extent (after all, it’s each writer’s responsibility to become the best he or she can be), those connections can help you get from where you are to where you want to be on the journey to publication.
Be Challenged to Write Something New
This is probably a good reason for me to stay home, but it’s still a great reason to attend a writers’ conference. I never imagined writing a memoir. Yet, I had the privilege of co-authoring Paralympian Deb Willows’ Living Beyond My Circumstances. Deb and I are now working on a follow-up book. (I attended my first conference with the lady who introduced Deb and me. I also met our publisher there.) Because of this project, I had the joy of co-teaching a class with Carolyn Wilker on memoir writing at the 2015 Write Canada. You just never know what doors are going to open for you.
And probably the number one reason for me …
Reconnect with Friends
Write Canada is the only opportunity I have to reconnect in person with some dear friends. It also provides the opportunity to make new friends. And when those friends are fellow writers (and other industry pros), it is truly amazing. I will be flying for days—and hopefully, energized to go home and get writing.
Attending a writers’ conference or workshop just may be the write thing for you as well.
- Writers’ conferences open doors (click to tweet)
- 6 reasons to attend a writers’ conference (click to tweet)
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Stephanie (Steph Beth) Nickel is an award-winning co-author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She also loves to speak, teach, and take slice-of-life photos. She would love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.
Really wish I were there. It sounds very promising. While learning is a lot of fun, reconnecting with writers you’ve met at previous conferences is always a huge reason why I love to attend those writers conferences.
I’m limited to one conference this year as “life” happened, and there’s only so much time and money to go around. Have a wonderful, blessed, and ‘learning’ day. Maybe next year, I’ll aim at this one.
Conferences are great, but yes, life and budgets keep us from over-indulging.