IWSG: Attending a Writers Festival.

Back in April, I mentioned that I could not afford to attend this year’s RWA conference in Melbourne. In retrospect, this turned out to be the right decision, as I had not attended a writer function in at least three years, so I needed to start with something on a much smaller scale.

Over the weekend, I attended a local writers festival, organised by my local library. There were five authors who came to speak about their books and writing, one of whom I had met ten years ago. In 2009, I was one of six successful candidates to attend the Write Around the Murray Festival, including a writer’s workshop with author and Associate Professor at the University of Technology, Debra Adelaide.

I introduced myself and our talk was brief under the circumstances. She told me my hair was a different colour to what it was back then, which I found to be an interesting anecdote. I mean, she didn’t remember my dazzling prose?!

It wasn’t until lunchtime, when I had mingled with other people, trying to make conversation, where I really began to feel insecure. After having been locked away in my writing cave for some years, with only social media my ‘go-to’ when it comes to socialising, I was definitely out of my comfort zone. I sat there, alone, wondering why I was there, but the answer was all around me. I was there to meet and listen to other writers and be with other people with the same or similar interests.

So, what did I learn from attending my first writers festival in three years?

• After ten years, I am still writing; it is something that I cannot be without.
• I believe my writing is better than it was ten years ago, even though back then it was good enough for me to win a competition.
• My passion for writing is what helped me to get out of my comfort zone, despite my insecurities.
• Mixing with other writers has given me the confidence to keep going and believe in my capabilities.
• Self-publishing/indie-publishing is the right path for me to take.
• When it comes to meeting other writers, I really need to get out more!
• Maybe I shouldn’t change my hair colour quite so often. 😉

What have you done recently to get out of your ‘writing cave’? Do you feel awkward in social situations? When was the last time you attended a writers festival?

Side Note: In the next few months I’ll be spending less time blogging to spend more time writing. As well as getting more writing projects done, I will also be focusing my efforts on self-publishing. I will continue to post for the IWSG, but otherwise, posts may be on a fortnightly basis. Thanks for your understanding and I hope you will stick with me. 🙂

The purpose of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Main image courtesy of Unsplash

14 thoughts on “IWSG: Attending a Writers Festival.

  1. I am definitely shy in social situations and haven’t attended but one writing event in NYC, where a group of authors pitched their stories to 4 editors way back in 2009. Wow, where did the time go?

    1. Debbie Johansson 08/08/2019 — 2:04 am

      I really had to stop and think that it was three years since attending my last writers festival. It certainly doesn’t feel that long! 😉

  2. I volenteer at my local library. Hey, I love books and I’m beginning to think they love me back. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    1. Debbie Johansson 08/08/2019 — 2:06 am

      Hi Anna. I was thinking of doing something like that myself but never got around to it. It’s a good way to be surrounded by like-minded people. 🙂

  3. I recently attended a class at the local community college on getting published. Good tips and advice, and good interaction with other authors. There were 8 of us in the class. Small, but worth it!

    1. Debbie Johansson 08/08/2019 — 2:11 am

      Small groups are good. I generally find that I tend to interact better with smaller numbers as I find them less intimidating. I’m glad you enjoyed the class. 🙂

  4. It was uncomfortable, but you were there among your peeps and you belonged. And if you won a competition before, just imagine what you will do now.

    1. Debbie Johansson 08/08/2019 — 2:15 am

      Hi Alex. Yes, I’m focusing on the positives of the day to keep me motivated! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your encouragement; it’s much appreciated. 🙂

  5. I think the majority of us writers feel awkward in social situations. It’s why we write! 😉
    But I also think meeting other like-minded people is soooo important. I need to get me to some writing conferences more often. I just wish they didn’t cost so much.

    1. Debbie Johansson 08/08/2019 — 2:23 am

      Hi Lynda. I had to pull out of the RWA conference due to the expense and I have since been told that they are one of the most expensive ones around. This is why I started locally. Unfortunately, due to cost, I think they are something that we would have to be very selective about.

  6. Good for you!! I’ve never attended a writers’ event. As far as I know we don’t have them in our area. I’m pretty awkward in social situations so I’m very impressed with your ability to mingle and meet! Best of luck with the writing!

    1. Debbie Johansson 08/08/2019 — 11:53 pm

      Thanks Jemi. It’s a shame you don’t have one locally. I think there may even be a local writer’s group I could join and attend regularly. This could be a good way to ease myself into another writer’s festival next year. Every little bit helps! 😉

  7. Conferences in any field are so beneficial and for the reasons you suggest. I prefer the smaller regional ones for writers because they’re less expensive, I seem to meet and actually talk to more people than at the national ones, and I too feel like a fish out of water with large crowds of people I don’t know.

    1. Debbie Johansson 10/08/2019 — 1:51 am

      I prefer the smaller ones too. I don’t think they’re quite as daunting, making it easier to talk to others. Thanks for stopping by, it’s good to meet you. 🙂

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