How important are writing workshops or conferences to writers? In my opinion, they are critical. However, we have to face facts that we can't all afford to attend them. I've found that some are very reasonable in price where others can be quite expensive. But the real question is are they worth it?
Almost every one I've attended has been worth it. Some more than others. I have to admit I've attended a few where I didn't learn much that I didn't already know, but I came out of there meeting a few new contacts or a few leads on book signing events. And both of those are critical to making it in this industry. And then there have been the workshops where I learned a ton of new stuff. So you just never know.
But to me, attending as many writing workshops or conferences that my budget and time will allow, has only benefitted me. They are a chance to "recharge" my juices and get me excited about the writing process all over again. Each time I attend one, I come directly home and start a new story or edit an old one. My batteries are once again revved up and my imagination is raring to go! There is nothing better than spending a whole day talking and listening to people who feel the same way I do about writing a book.
It's also a new adventure for me. Never in school did I ever raise my hand to answer a question the teacher asked. I never wanted to speak up for fear that I would look stupid because I didn't know what I was talking about. But when I attend anything writing wise, my hand doesn't hesitate to raise even when I try to stop it. So it's a weird and new experience for me, but one that I love and am proud of myself for giving it my all. Heck, I've even been the speaker at a few of these myself! And for me, that's a big "gold star" for the day.
So to those of you who are thinking of attending a workshop or conference, think no more. Just do it! I guarantee it will pay off in some way and you'll be glad you did it.
So, when's your next writing workshop or conference scheduled?