As part of the "what's in it for YOU?" refocusing of this blog, I'm here to offer some reasons to consider attending one of the major writers' conferences.
Yes, there's expense involved. Yes, the logistics of getting-there-and-back can be daunting, given the travel environment that certain Radical Elements have gifted us with since 9/11/01. But I submit that the benefits can outweigh all this.
First, at a conference such as ACFW's just-concluded annual event, you can learn how to take your writing to the next level. No matter what abilities as a writer you already have, there is a session or seminar that talks to YOU, where YOU are at in your craft-acquisition mode. Beginner? Fine. There are plotting sessions and "up the tension" sessions and even sessions (can I yerk now?) on creative ways to write the Dreaded Synopsis.
Have you sold a book or two? Sessions are offered which will tell you what to expect next. That talk of marketing, of publishing-as-business, of promo and blog-savvy and website development.
Are you multi-published? Sessions discuss how to give back to the writing community, how to mentor newer writers, how to "pay it forward" in creative ways. It's humbling to listen to writers more accomplished than I, talk about how to pass along what they have learned, to the benefit of others.
If you get the chance, go. It can be stressful but so are all good things. My take is that it's worth it.