Conferences Hone Both Literary and Social Skills
Writing conferences – they are a no-brainer for career advancement and enhancement. So why do so many women hesitate to attend these skill-building events?
The fear of the unknown?
Perhaps it can get in the way. Especially if you are not going with friends, family, or colleagues, going alone can seem scary. It brings back middle school fears of who will I share my living quarters with? What table should I plunk down my tray at in the cafeteria? Fear of unknown instructors and their commentary about sketches shared in writing sessions can be a big one, too. Or, the fear of standing up in front of strangers at an evening open-mic and reading what was produced earlier can be frightening as well.
I have found that the very best way to get over the fear is to face the music and attend a conference. Starting with smaller weekend versions is a less anxiety ridden way to start out. Check out the requirements for the workshops and lectures to make sure that they do not sound too difficult or too easy so that your experience is not frustrating or boring. Middle ground is good. Read up on the instructors credentials, interests, and books or articles that they have published to see if they match up with your own needs or interests.
Be open to meeting women from a variety of backgrounds. Learn very early on to listen carefully to people both older and younger than you for they hold many experiences that may be out of your normal routine. Also, women from different cultures can be invigorating to share a meal or an open-mic session with during the conference.
Their experiences can quite literally open doors to whole new worlds.