Recently one of the other writers’ groups on my email was discussing conferences. Someone new to the profession asked if there was any value or was it like a vacation? The responses were varied. Most agreed it wasn’t a vacation. No one commented that every profession requires ongoing education. Nurses and doctors have in-service training, teachers must have CEUs. Writers also need to keep current of changes, hear new ideas, and cheer each other on. There’s a lot of walking here. We go from hotel to convention center and back several times a day. The selling floor is enormous with several hundred booths. Our booth has 4 spaces. I worked our booth this morning from 9-12, attended class from 1-3, worked the booth from 3-5, walked through the crowds at the 5-7 reception. Tomorrow I’ll work the registration desk and attend classes. These are long and busy days. It started at 7 this morning with rosary and Mass. Not a vacation, but maybe a retreat. I’ll be ready to hang out to dry when I get to the Asheville airport Friday night at midnight. Do I recommend it? I absolutely do. Whatever conference suits you, but definitely go. Surrounding yourself with other writers will inspire you. Hearing them will give you courage to endure. Learning will give you confidence. This one upholds and reminds us that our work is God’s work, making this a special conference. And, yes, as always, I’m marketing and networking. It’s part of the job.