This past weekend, I attended the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. It’s one of the bigger writing conferences here in the state of Colorado, and I look forward to it every year.
This year it was all online, and I really thought I’d be fine with that. After all, I go to writers conferences mainly to learn.
I was surprised, though, that it didn’t feel nearly as engaging as an in-person conference. And it wasn’t for lack of focus. The conference organizers did a great job, and the speakers and presenters were outstanding. My husband watched the kids for three days solid so I wasn’t distracted and I could give the conference my full attention. Without the in-person interaction, though … it just didn’t feel the same.
Turns out, in-person connection is just as important to me as learning at these things.
Writing is a pretty solitary endeavor. I’m an introvert, so that’s not normally a problem. But it’s clear to me that even with my introvert nature, I need to “feed the meter” of social interaction now and then. And apparently these writers conferences have been feeding that meter for years without me even realizing it.
I’m getting my second dose of the COVID vaccine in a week, and I feel like that’s going to be a huge milestone. I’m planning to attend another big writers conference in-person in October, and I’ll tell you, I’m going to make the most of it.
I’m sure this pandemic has taught us all some valuable lessons, and revealed aspects of ourselves we didn’t know were there. This is certainly that for me. Connecting in-person with the writing and publishing community is going to be higher up on my priority list going forward.
What have you learned about yourself in the last year? I’m curious. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your story.