I was one of 60 people attending the Triangle Area Freelancers conference at Wake Tech. It was an excellent program with eight breakout sessions, a keynote speaker, and a closing panel discussion to wrap it up. I was impressed how a small group of local writers could put on such a professional conference at a low cost. The statewide North Carolina Writers Network conferences cost four times as much.
Which is another way of saying that however much we network online there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings not only to meet people but also to get practical ideas and inspiration that are hard to glean from all the spam on the Internet. I’ve been fortunate to have lived in three areas with strong writers networks: Austin, Texas; Washington, DC; and Raleigh, NC. I’m afraid I haven’t always taken advantage of some of the lessons I learned at these meetings over the years and have allowed other interests and priorities to prevail over my writing career. I guess I’m just not as focused and intensely motivated as most successful writers are. I don’t feel compelled to write nor does writing come easily to me.