Last weekend was awesome. It was crowded; it was packed with great sessions; it was inspiring. There was networking and critiquing and soaking up of information. But most of all, there was the feeling of camaraderie that comes from being surrounded by others who share the same goals, and struggle through the same pitfalls.
And there was one underlying message: it's about the work. The writing, the crafting, the revising until you've found just the right words, the prefect turn of phrase, the scene that will mark the turning point in your story. Sure networking is important, bonding over irregular sleep patterns can make us all feel better about what we're giving up in order to achieve our dream of a published book, and developing tables to track every book sold by your dream agent or every book edited by that editor you clicked with feels really productive. But at the end of the day, what I heard from everyone, what every keynote speech came down to, was this simple truth: it's about the work. Because without the work, all that other stuff doesn't really mean anything anyway.
So, that's my takeaway. How about you? Were you there? What was the main thing you got out of the conference?