Confessions of a Wannabe Writing Conference Groupie, By Cheryl Owen-Wilson

First confession—I’m pea green with envy, and live vicariously through writing friends who attend more conferences in one year than I’ve attended in my entire lifetime. Alas, I’m constrained by those evil twins known as time and money.

Second confession—I love people, especially those who write. They are my tribe. I know the general public perceives we writers as recluses; sitting in a dark, smoke-filled room, drink in one hand, our tortured soul in the other, bleeding words upon the page. Actually, now that I think about it—I was that person just yesterday.  But when I’m at a conference, I get to talk to real people, not just the one’s in my head.  It’s a nice change of pace for we non-introvert type, writers.

Third confession—I love playing dress-up. I was in heaven when I discovered, at some conferences I could dress all weekend as my favorite character, in the well-worn books sitting on my nightstand.  Just imagine my glee at not being looked at oddly when sporting a full on Steampunk costume, while a Wookie and I discussed the finer points of world building.

Fourth confession—I like free things and conferences have swag. From bookmarks, to clothe bags, to water bottles and candy. And best of all, at times you can even score free books signed by the authors.

Fifth confession—Let’s talk about those authors. I believe in the magic of absorbing good energy. So when I get to meet and soak up the fabulous juju of my favorite authors, I am filled to the brim and overflowing. Yes at these conferences, the people who are the movie stars in my life actually talk to me as an equal. They share their secrets and frustrations. As a result I leave revived and ready to conquer the next twenty thousand words head on.

Sixth confession—I’m not a marketing wiz, especially in the world of social media. I mean who knew tweeting was a marketing tool and not just the sound a bird makes. Marketing now takes up as much of an author’s time as the actual writing. Thus, I need all the short cuts I can learn from experts in the ever-evolving medium of social marketing.

Seventh confession—I don’t know everything there is to know about the craft of writing. Yes, I said it! I do however fear that the craft of writing is itself changing, at a rapid pace. Did you know the Global Language Monitor recently announced that the most used word of 2014 was not an actual word? It’s a heart emoji. Yes the short-cut symbol used in countless texts and messages as opposed to simply writing the words—I Love You. The second place winner was the symbol, #. I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there so I can plug the writing conference I’ll be attending next week. It’s a unique writing conference. How? The entire conference is dedicated solely to the craft of writing.

Check out their website and the award winning authors who will be in attendance. There’s still time to register-

Final confession—This conference is being held in my home town and it will be populated by writers I’ve known since—well, since I first dared share a spooky story at a Ghostwriters Weekend Retreat. This retreat in its 25th year is also on the Wordcrafters website. Did I mention I love writing retreats also? Well perhaps I’ll save those confessions for another time.

Do you have confessions from attending writing conferences? Please do share and also where they are held and what unique qualities do they have?


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