One of the highlights of my year as an author is the annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This year’s conference (April 25-27) includes keynote speakers Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jim C. Hines, Gail Carriger, and Chuck Wendig. I’ll be spending three glorious days with hundreds of other writers. And authors. And editors. And agents. And illustrators. Book lovers all.
While I am excited to be presenting three different workshops, and hosting an Author Read & Critique, the real thrill comes from hanging out with fellow writers. Why? Because writing is, by nature, a solitary act. We spend a lot of time inside our heads, inside our little worlds, basically talking to ourselves. Conferences provide us with a chance to chat with others who understand the quirks that come from being a writer.
As an author, I have to admit that I spend most of my informal conversations with other authors discussing the business side of the publishing world: book sales, the actions of our editors and publicists and agents, who is the next rising star in our particular genre, and cover art are some of the things you will hear a pair of authors quietly discussing in the corner of the hotel bar or over a cup of coffee in the lobby. Writing is a business, after all. A wild, white-water rapids ride of a business, where you sometimes feel like a rock star. But, it is still a business.
That said, I have never found anything in my life as completely gratifying as writing. From crafting the outline, to struggling through the first draft, to plodding my way through revision after revision, to celebrating the first peek at the cover art, to holding my published book in my hand, this is what I was meant to do. Spending time with other people who feel this way? Priceless. So get thee to a conference at least once in your writing career. You'll be glad you did!
Me with Marie Lu, author of LEGEND