I’ll say it. I’m not a big fan of writers’ conferences. I think they’re overpriced and cliquish. A friend of mine recently signed up for a weekend writer’s conference. He paid the $40 fee. Sounds reasonable, right? He thought that was the conference fee. It wasn’t. It was an advance registration fee. A week later, he got a letter in the mail with the $595 price tag. Really? He opted not to go to the conference. I don’t blame him.
I write. I practice my craft daily. I study a wide variety of writers and writing styles. I don’t need to spend a week’s pay to attend a conference, thank you very much. Most of the advice I could receive at conferences could be found in books and websites on writing. A creative writing class at a community college would likely cost less than most weekend writing conferences and include more time and attention. So what’s the point? To make connections? Perhaps. But are conferences really necessary for creating connections?
In today’s writing market we can make connections without driving 100 miles and spending $600. The Internet provides writers with endless opportunities to connect with other writers. Many authors, published, self-published, and unpublished have their own websites. Facebook and Twitter are loaded with talented writers and writers’ organizations. Do the math. If you put in the effort, you can connect with other writers online, establish relationships and support one another.
One way writers can support one another online is through guest blogging. Most up-and-coming writers operate their own blogs. It’s become the standard for those of us trying to crack the market. As you make connections with other writers consider trading guest posts with them. Every time you guest post, your name and product reaches another audience. So make a point to make connections with other writers and be willing to trade guest posts. Share your guest posts on your social networks. If we support one another, we all win.