Monday, May 21, 2018

Post Pennwriters

Photo via Pixabay
As I write this, I'm sitting in the hospitality suite at the Pennwriters Conference as the weekend winds down. Jack is at his perch behind the raffle table, where baskets of prizes sit waiting for winners to collect them. The bookstore has been dismantled, boxed books now atop the tables, waiting for authors to collect them and, they hope, checks that mean their books are now in the hands of new readers. Four large, round tables fill the center of the room, populated with people chatting, texting or extracting one last bit of wisdom from the authors and mentors who will soon disperse, returning to their homes, their laptops and their lives. In a few minutes, the last workshop will let out and this room will fill with attendees waiting to see if they won a basket or a contest before saying their final goodbyes.

This was, once again, a great weekend. I sold some books, gathered some wisdom, taught two workshops, connected with friends and made a few new connections as well. Each conference takes on a personality of its own. Though there are similarities from one conference to the next in structure and even attendees, no two experiences are quite the same, in part because we are never quite the same from one conference to the next.

We approach each conference differently with different needs and strengths, having grown since the last time we attended. Each time, we look for different answers, seeking workshops that will build a bridge from where we are to where we want to go. A successful conference (from the perspective of the conference goer) builds that bridge, giving us concrete things we can work on until the next conference arrives.

And so now, it's time to get to work.

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