Not many writers live in Saudi Arabia. Since I moved there in September I’ve become active within the library community and have met some very welcoming Arabic writers, mostly poets. As supportive as they are they just are not what I’m used to.
I moved from a VERY active and fabulously supporting RWA chapter in Houston to having nothing in Saudi Arabia. It’s easy to quickly feel isolated. It’s easy to feel cut off from the world when all you’re doing is sitting in front of a computer when you’re not chasing a toddler or furry babies.
RWA and other large conferences are not just about learning craft or industry trends. Though that is important, getting out and meeting writers is just as important if not more.
Yesterday I met fellow YA writer Christina Kirby. Now tonight we’re planning to have dinner together. This is what conferences are about. This is how critique partners are found and life long writing friends are discovered.
Writers are a special brand of people. We’re creative border-lining on insanity. Don’t laugh. If you’re a writer, you probably hear voices in your head. You then probably listen to said voices and mold them into stories. Yep, most people would define that as not normal. But if you are a writer getting your annual creative booster shot is just as important as that overdue dental cleaning you’ve been avoiding.
So if you’re at RWA or planning to attend another large-scale writing conference be sure to put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to go to a workshop, coffee shop or lounge alone. Take advantage of the lobby’s free WiFi. Meet people!! Make the most of your creative cup refill and get ready to dive into another year of productive writing.
Are you at RWA 2013? Tweet me @NatalieCMarkey. I’d love to meet you.