Conferences sound boring, right?
Pencil skirts, pantyhose, high heeled why-would-I-bother shoes that make it hard to teeter in the right direction. Legal pads and afterthought hotel pens that you’ll find six months later stuffed into the bottom of you bag or rattling around inside the ridge of your car door. But like all things,
No hold that thought. The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference is not like all things. It’s unlike anything. It’s a family you’ve never met before but can instantly share your entire backstory with. It’s late night edits and bad coffee and kids on their family vacation running around wondering why your talking about yourself in the third person and what in the world a query letter is.
It’s taking three days out of your normal-person life to join a community of writers who actually understand when you say your characters aren’t talking to you right now and how bad that might make you feel.
It’s sitting in workshops where, with a single word, writers more experienced than you manage to validate the theories you’ve had rumbling around inside your head for years. It’s realizing that, at the same time, to someone else in that room you’re the more experienced writer offering up nuggets of vindication.
It’s a lump of sadness you feel in your sinking gut when you realize it’s Sunday morning and pretty soon you’ll have to leave it all behind.
It’s never leaving any of it behind.