This past weekend I took part in the 3rd Avondale Writers’ Conference. I had the privilege of attending as both speaker and attendee. The air had a definite buzz. It was great to see so many talented people, so passionate about their craft. The sessions were all well attended. For my session, I had some 25 attendees and an interesting discussion on effective use of point of view. I especially enjoyed Ann Goldfarb’s session on Recognizing and Developing Mood in Writing. I picked up some very good tips there. I want to give a big thank you to the conference organizers, (too many to name but check them out here), and everyone involved in making it such a great event. I already have it on my radar for next year.
I think the real benefit of a writers’ conference comes when you step outside of your head and really listen to the other writers and speakers. Too often we can crawl into a shell of what we think we need to know or do to further our writing. Some of us may read book after book on a being successful writer. Others may hop from conference to conference searching for that golden ticket to the best seller list. Still others hunker down and defy the world to ignore their fresh take. Anyone would tell you the best advice is the advice that works. The only thing in your control is listening to all the advice you can. I am not a big fan of the industry that has cropped up around producing writing success, that includes the books, magazines, pay to enter contests and, yes, conferences, yet I suspect at some point the developing writer will distill it all down to that special elixir that will work for him or her. So my advice, keep reading, keep learning, keep your ego in check and keep writing.