So a few years ago I was at a writing conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Writing seminars often have sessions about the importance of getting over the typical introverted nature most writers have and getting out to do public speaking gigs.

I have experienced quite a bit of fear when it comes to public speaking, so I raised my hand and asked the speaker, “Do you have any tips about how to relax before a speaking engagement?” The speaker never even got a chance to answer.

Business cards from surrounding classmates were immediately shoved in my face and they began to give me advice.

  • One offered a class in mindfulness
  • another espoused visualization
  • someone else was going on about yoga
  • and the man directly beside me… a life coach, who looked oddly enough like James Coburn was saying, “Do this with me… breath in…hold it…now breath out… long, slow breaths. Again!”

The speaker and I exchanged a little knowing glance, and I thought, “Man. Writers are weird! Wait a minute. I’m a writer!” That’s when I realized I was right where belonged.

That’s when I realized I was right where belonged.

So, assimilation? Is that what conferences do for us? Is this where we meet others of our species? Maybe it’s where we see in the mirror dimly? Or allow others to see who we are… or maybe to see ourselves more clearly.

By the way, if you’re in the area, The Nebraska Writers Guild will be having their spring conference soon. Sign up if you have this little inkling that maybe, you too, are kind of weird! If you are, maybe you’re a writer!


  1. I find conferences to be the greatest source of encouragement and enthusiasm there is. You can get some of it online, but nothing beats meeting other writers in person. I leave feeling refreshed and excited about writing. 🙂

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