I’m not rich by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t have any hopes or dreams of becoming a 1%er. I don’t want to fritter my money away, but I don’t want to horde it like some kind of miser either. I try to invest smartly. As someone with high ambitions in my writing endeavors I am intentional about investing in myself. To that end, I try to attend at least one writers convention every twelve to eighteen months. I try to limit my travel expenses (I usually bank up free airline miles in order to reduce prices) but I do believe I get a great value in them.
Usually I come home from a conference with a journal full of notes—things I’ve learned, plans I’ve made, and people I’ve met. I don’t honestly think that I can digest all of that immediately… not really even in a year. I try to find one to three things that I can learn and implement over the next year in my writing, platform building, networking, marketing, and beyond. Dropping a couple hundred dollars is a strategic investment. It becomes easier to spend that on yourself when you believe in your future as a writer… understand this is not a quick fix or magic pill, but if you learn a few things at a convention or workshop and work to get better those dollars will pay off dividends in the future.
Here are 10 things you might gain or take home from a writers conference:
- Networking with other writers
- Meeting literary agents or publishing professionals
- You will get energized and inspired
- It can be a tax write off
- You may get opportunities to pitch agents and publishers
- Your expectations will become grounded in reality (for better or worse)
- You will gain resources (notes, handouts, books, etc.) to use forever
- You are likely to find something that was never on your radar (an underground community, a newly launching service or agency, a new outlook on some topic)
- It transitions you from a hobbyist to a professional
- Get updates on trends and how the publishing world is changing