Writing is a craft, an art form and a skill that must be tweaked and honed. Even if you are born with a natural gift with the written word, you still must take some time to learn. There are hundreds of different ways you can go about it, some free and some for a fee. Most all of them will help you increase your skills in some way or another.
You could probably attend a writerâ€™s conference every month if you wanted. They are held all over the world. Some of them are large and some are intimate. Most any of them will help you make connections with other writers, editors and even publishers. Those connections could be the one thing you need to get your foot in the door.
Shaw Guides is a good place to start looking for the conference that will fit your needs. It offers a Guide to Writerâ€™s Conferences and Workshops. This is where I first discovered the Southern Christian Writerâ€™s Conference.
It was fairly close (hosted at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, AL), located near family so I wouldnâ€™t have to pay for a room and wasnâ€™t very expensive â€“ all great incentives for me to sign up. I went for convenience the first time but I keep going back because of the information that I learn and the people that I have a chance to meet. Itâ€™s held every June and the sessions and speakers are always a delight (plus they feed you).
There are some dream conferences I have run across (listed in The Writer or online) but I havenâ€™t been able to justify the price tag that goes with them. This year I might just bite the bullet. If I pick the right location, the family could come along â€“ ensuring the safety of the home when I return. We get a vacation and right off the expenses in the mean time.
Location, location, location â€“ itâ€™s not just for real estate. A great location can take a good conference directly over to amazing. If I could travel any where then the Maui Writers Conference would be top on the list. I think the sand and waves would be the perfect muse for my writing – but can I convince the hubby?
Not that I would be a name dropper, but a few conference have caught my eye because of the keynote speakers and the instructors. The ACFW annual conference would be a great place to win friends and influence people, I just wish theyâ€™d bring it back to the south!
Many local colleges or universities offer great classes, seminars, or workshops for writers. The internet has made access even easier. Places like Ed2go.com or The Writers Studio give you the information you need on your own schedule.
If you still arenâ€™t sure where to go to learn more about the craft of writing then ask other writers. Join a writerâ€™s group through your local library (or start one if there isnâ€™t one yet) or make some online connections. The most recent addition of the Carnival of Christian Writers has some great thoughts on conferences.
Which every direction you decide to go with your craft just keep learning and growing. When you look back a few years from now you will be shocked at how far you have managed to come, no matter where you started.