Writers conferences – and any conference dealing with the arts- have a great deal of appeal. You not only get to hear some of the best people in the artist industry speak and divulge what seems like top secret information, you catch creative fever right along with it.
Although some creative pursuits involve interacting with other people, most are solitary pursuits. That is one of the reasons writers and artist conferences are so popular. It is one of the few ways you can reach out to other creative people and find out what they are doing and exactly how they are doing it. You get to connect with other people in an industry that for the most part doesn’t know you exist.
I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have attended conferences and they all agree there is something like an electric charge that goes through you and stays with you long after the conference is over. It’s described as one of the best motivators you could ever hope for.
The reality is not everyone can attend conferences.
There are a multitude of reasons keeping some people from attending a conference, cost and health are usually at the top, but a lot of times you just can’t take the time away that it requires to first of all get to the con, then attend for a few days, then get back home. On top of that, often you have to go alone, which isn’t appealing to everyone even if you know you’ll probably make some friends when you get there.
It doesn’t really matter what the reasons are for not being able to get to a conference, you know it would be great to attend one. You want to feel you are part of the industry you love so much, that your dreams are real and within your reach. You want that connection you can only get from reaching out to others doing the same thing you are.
Teleconfering may be the answer.
I’ve wondered why the folks that make up conferences haven’t taken advantage of teleconferences, or the internet for that matter, long before this. It’s true that you don’t have the face to face interaction with other artists like yourself, and some of the friendships forged at conferences do last a lifetime, yet there are so many artists that can’t attend. With the technology available today there doesn’t seem to be any reason you have to miss out on the connection you get from participating along with others.
A teleconference gives you the chance for that vital connection.
There is a difference between taking part in an activity and being privy to the information afterward. When you take part in an activity while it is going on you can feel the excitement and energy. You’re involved on all levels. After it’s over if you look at your notes, or listen to the tapes, you trigger that energy and are able to tap into it.
Just listening to tapes of conferences, though still beneficial, is more passive. You know it’s over and since you weren’t involved directly, you’re a little detached, it’s just so much more information. You don’t get that electric charge you do from participating.
What exactly is a Teleconference
Teleconferences take place over the phone. Long distance charges may apply but remember the cost of a long distance call is minimal these days. And if you’re set up you can usually use streaming internet which entails no extra cost.
Most calls are muted, you can’t speak to a speaker during the call. (You can just imagine how nuts it would get if you could.) But, you are welcomed to email questions before the call, and during the call if something comes up you’d like to know more about. This brings the interactive level back to the top.
Most often Included in the cost, are mp3 downloads of all the calls. This is a pretty important part. It great to have a record of everything so you can listen to it again and again afterward. And if you happen to miss a call – you certainly would like to know what it was all about.
This is the chance for a lot of people who simply can’t attend live conferences to get actively involved.
It can make such a difference to touch base with people involved in the same industry that you are pursuing. The sense of isolation falls away, you have a feeling of being connected with other like minded people. By the time the conferences are done you’re super charged and it’s a feeling that you can tap into again and again. I believe that is as important as the information you are getting.
The only question I have about teleconferences is, “What took you so long?”