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This weekend I attended the Surrey International Writers’ Conference 2013. Writer’s don’t often get to meet other writers, especially if they are still in the early stages of creating that first manuscript. As a writer, when you tell acquaintances that you are “writing a book”, the immediate response is “Really? What’s it called? Can I get it at Amazon?”. They don’t understand that the process of writing the book takes time, a lot of time, and a million other things that have to be learned and need to fall in place.

I go to the conference to learn the craft of writing, but mostly I go to meet all the various people involved in the industry of writing. I interact with writers at all stages of their careers, from just starting out to best-selling published authors. I get to hear what agents and editors are going through in their daily lives and what they are looking for from the writing community.

Unlike business conferences where people unwind at the meals and try to find common personal ground, we all talk about writing. We get to share our often secret identity. The energy and encouragement feed us all I think. It certainly makes me feel that I can tackle any challenge that will come my way in the upcoming year. I hope it lasts until the next writer’s conference, when I can re-energize.

I’m an introvert, as I’m sure many writers may be. Yet, I spoke more in the three days of the conference than I’ve probably spoken in the last year to even my family. If you’re a writer, I highly recommend you check out your local writing conferences. Not only will you learn a lot and discover that even introverts can become a noisy bunch, you might even get some new wonderful friends to share the journey of writing with every day.