Isolation and a lack of direction.
That’s how I feel when I haven’t interacted with fellow creators.
That’s not a good feeling.
A good feeling: Attending a conference. Mulling around with people who do what you do. Some of them are hugely successful. Some of still near the same plane as me (albeit still ABOVE me–people I look up to).
That’s why I love conferences. But conferences tend to cost money. A lot of money. Limbs. Severed hands and feet. Then the conference isn’t so great. Paying a ton and leaving with knowledge is great . . . but most knowledge is available online.
Instead, the best takeaway from a conference is HUMAN INTERACTION! (Yes, I am yelling and typing.)
But that money thing . . .
Go to Oshkosh’s Lakefly Writers conference. It’s like $60. (Pretty sure there’s food on Saturday, too. Pretty sure . . .)
They have lawyers, comedians, series writers, freelance writers, novelists, musicians, voice-over artists, detectives (yes, detective), children’s book writers . . . and so on.
You get the idea.
And it’s a good deal. Check it out, especially if you’ve never been to one. (I’m especially talking to any high school or college students who are dabbling in writers, but aren’t totally sure.)
The keynote speaker happens to be a man I’ve read before I know he’d be coming to Oshkosh: Nickolas Baker. His novel Shotgun Lovesongs is a must-read for Wisconsinites, especially if you appreciate character-driven tales. (Gotta love Beth; she was my favorite character.)
I went to a conference in Indiana. Then Chicago. Then some other places. All of them–$200+, not including lodging, etc.
If you’ve never gone, try Lakefly. They’re accepting of all ranges of creative people. They welcome me each year–especially my first year. I was (and still am) a nobody. That’s totally okay. Acceptance. Ah.
And last year, they graciously gave me the opportunity to present. They took away that feeling of isolance and lack of direction. So much advice, so much optimism–a great way to spend a weekend. (Certainly better than drinking alone and plotting a novel in a dark, dank basement. Not that I do that . . .)
Great group of people. Excellent conference.
Best deal around here.
I’m also excited for next Monday. My first novel, Drunk in the Warm Glow, is being published by Creators Publishing. I wrote it over three years ago. After getting the contract finished and whatnot, it was another year or so.
Finally, it’s here.
And soon, so will be Lakefly (May 12-13).
Hope to see you there.