I'm having a great time at the Surrey International Writer's Conference. I've blogged a bit about this idea before, but this conference has reminded me again that kismet is key to the business of writing and publishing. But the thing is, there's not a lot of opportunity for kismet when you're sitting in your house.
I know it's not always possible to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to go to writing conferences. I was extremely blessed this year to receive a grant from the Access Copyright Foundation, which has covered my conference expenses for this weekend. But even if you can't attend a conference, I encourage you to get off of your computer once in a while, get out around other writers, booksellers, librarians, whomever, and get some facetime that's focused on writing and books.
Every time I've come to this conference, or any writing conference, actually, I've had moments of kismet that I can look back on and pinpoint--certain people I've spoken to that have ended up making a difference in my writing life and/or career. In every one of these cases, it took a little bit of coming out of my comfort zone to make the opportunity happen.
This weekend I've seen friends of mine get really impacting writing advice, find new opportunities, and one friend even got an offer of representation right on the spot here. I've had several very informative conversations with professionals about foreign rights, e-rights, film options, and many other things. Not only do I feel enlightened, but I have some new contacts in the business, some of which I have high hopes will be fruitful.
So I encourage you...step out. Talk to someone new about books and writing, and see where it leads. Even if it's a little uncomfortable.