A couple of weeks ago I went to a writer’s conference. I LOVE writer’s conferences. Which may not be a huge surprise, but I am an introvert, so large gatherings of people can exhaust me.
Sixteen years ago, I would not have said I LOVE writer’s conferences. I sat in a hotel room in Houston, wondering if I had made a complete mistake by coming to this writer’s conference. I didn’t know anyone; I had a two-year-old and five-year-old at home. And downstairs, when I had peeked in the conference room after registering, the rapid chatter of voices made it seem like everyone already knew each other. I wanted to run back and hide in my hotel room the whole four days. But the trip had been expensive. And I had a book I had been writing. Finding time to write was hard with two little ones. Was it what I was supposed to be doing? It was time to see if it had been wasted time.
I left my hotel room and continued through the conference. I met some other writers in the same boat I was: knowing no one and feeling alone. I attended my appointment with an editor from my dream publishing house. And she liked my story and wanted to see more of it. And another appointment garnered me a potential agent.
That seemed like confirmation I was supposed to write.
I arrived home with renewed desire to write and improve my craft. Those writers I met? They became critique partners and life-long friends. I was blessed doing what I loved with good friends along the journey. I met Diana Brandmeyer. A few years later she introduced me to Liz Tolsma and along with Angela Breidenbach we have become the Pencildancers. A group of writers that help and support each other.
Liz was with me at the writer’s conference a few weeks ago, and we shared a dorm room. I think we talked nonstop for three days!
Writing is a solo profession. It’s a lot of time in front of a computer by yourself and with your imaginary friends. So when you can come out of that world into a world of others who get you, it can be energizing and refreshing. You’re not weird! There are others like you! It’s an amazing feeling.
So whatever it is you like to do, find your tribe. I’d love to hear about your tribes. Let me know below what kind of special events you like to go to to find your people. 🙂