headed to dfwcon ’13 today, and i’m wicked excited! i thought this might be the perfect time to repost my experience from last year, because it was such a positive and encouraging one! enjoy!
- – - -
what dfwcon really taught me - posted may 21, 2012 (at the old ugly blog)
it would be far too easy for me to come here and report on everything i learned this past weekend at dfwcon. admittedly, that’s probably what most people want. we want advice and tips—all the little things that will help us be better writers. and while those are wonderful things to want, i think there’s something else we need to learn and/or remember about writing.
i’ve heard it said countless times that writing is a solitary endeavor. that we, as writers, are lonely and often starve ourselves of social interaction for the sake of finishing a scene or chapter or manuscript. I do this all the time. i pass up happy hours, nights out downtown, movie dates, skype dates, and get-togethers simply because i must get [insert project] done. but what dwfcon both taught and reminded me (in equal parts) is that writing is not as solitary as we sometimes lead ourselves to believe.
this past weekend i connected with a truly amazing group of writers i’d been corresponding with via twitter for the last couple months. some of these women i knew longer, and some i see on a regular basis, but no matter how far we traveled or how long we knew each other, there was an instant connection. magic. (yes, magic.) we spent two and a half days attending workshops, classes, and gong show panels, all the while carrying on a constant conversation that included almost anything. no topic was safe. there were times when my stomach ached from all the laughter these ladies brought me. and when sunday evening came and it was time to head back to austin, my stomach ached for different reasons. the weekend suddenly felt too short. everyone was leaving.
having writing friends, i realize, is different from having regular friends. it by no means lessens the worth of either—friends are friends and i love mine dearly, no matter which they are—but they are different. when it comes to my writing, my regular friends are supportive. they will listen to me talk about my books or other books, but invariably reach that point of saturation when their eyes glaze over. i don’t blame them. i’m sure there are times i do the same to them. but with writing friends, that never happens. this conference taught me that a writing friend (or writing acquaintance, or even a writing stranger) loves to talk books, pitch sessions, and conference classes. they understand your passion. they share your passion.
so it’s funny to hear someone say writing is a solitary endeavor when i’ve just come off a weekend that was anything but. now, more than ever, i feel very much surrounded. my cellphone keeps blowing up with notifications of tweets and e-mails, reminding me that my friends are still there despite the hundreds of miles that separate us.
writing can be a solitary thing if you allow it to be. i’m thankful that because of these ladies, i know it won’t be.
- – - -
a year later, and i still 100% feel this way. these girls have been my saving grace this past year and i’m so thankful for each and every one of them. some of them are returning to dfwcon this year and words cannot express how freaking excited i am to see them.