Tomorrow I'll be flying off to Colorado for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference. http://www.rmfw.org/conference/
I've been to a number of conferences over the years: SDSU Writers Conference, La Jolla Writers Conference, Southern California Writers Conference, Santa Barbara Writers Conference, and Romantic Times (writing panels and male cover models- hard to go wrong there ;)).
But I've never been to this one. I'm excited, nervous, and even more excited ;).
Some of the conferences I've been to have been wonderful, some, not as much, but I still think of all of them as a positive thing and I think all writers should try to go to as many as feasible.
Why, you ask?
First off- you are surrounded by people who understand your strange addiction. Writers, agents, editors-- all understand the weirdness that goes on in most writer's psyches. That energy can't be duplicated. Even if the panels aren't what you hoped (sadly,not as uncommon as one would like) you still get a "contact high" from being surrounded by the writing world.
Second- chances are very good you'll learn something you didn't know. Even the most advanced novelist can pick up something--IF they stay open to it. I've seen the "too good for this crowd" attendees at almost every conference and I wonder--why are they even there? You never know when a tidbit, hint, comment will strike you and you'll have a precious "aha!" moment. Go in with an open mind and reap the benefits ;).
Third- exposure to the movers and shakers. Even the smaller conferences will have some published authors (some have VERY big names), editors, and agents. Being around these people, going to panels, pitches, and critiques is something you can't get anywhere except a conference.
Ok, so I've listed some very good reasons to go-but what about you all? What conferences have you been to? What are some of your experiences? (Both good and bad). If you have tips for anyone who has never been to one of these- what would you say?