On Valentine's weekend I attended the 2019 San Francisco Writers Conference (SFWC). I've gone to this conference three or four times now and I always come away inspired... but I have to say this last trip I just really enjoyed myself! I met great people, I liked the sessions, and it felt extremely personally productive. (Pretty funny considering I didn't write a lick while I was there.) I had a consultation with Agent Laurie McLean that was especially helpful. (Thank you!)
I know there are writing conferences out there that are focused on the craft of writing, with writing workshops or mentorships, and I'd like to try one of those sometime. However, what I like about SFWC is that it includes business and industry view sessions, such as how to get started online, marketing ideas, or discussing trends in a particular genre. Maybe it's just the marketer in me but I love those sessions. I'm all about learning the industry in order to succeed. In particular, I feel like I learn what I'm doing right as a writer and that's very validating. Second, I learn what I may be doing wrong in a way that let's me course correct in actionable ways. And third, I come away with tips, data, and inspiration. Yay! (I wish I was this type A in highschool; I would have gotten better grades.)
And big win... I met a lot of other cool writers, several of whom were interested in writing groups or swapping critiques! I also approached presenters several times during the conference, either for professional advice or just to chat, and everyone was open and nice. Writing conferences can feel overwhelming, if not downright terrifying, so I think that friendly attitude goes a long way. Especially for those writers who may be more introverted. (I mean, I was a mess of nerves the first time I went and I'm not a shy person at all!)
For writers out there thinking about attending a conference, especially one with a business bent, I recommend checking out SFWC*.
*Totally not a paid plug. I just like to gush.