As a contributor for the popular site, Biff Bam Pop, Glenn Walker cordially accepted the invitation to contribute to the PWC blog. His insight on the process of attending the PWC for the first time is both humorous and authentic. Enjoy his narrative and find out why he calls himself “stupid” in this post.
When friend and fellow writer Uriah Young asked me to write about my experience at last year’s Philadelphia Writers’ Conference I was more than a little stuck for what to say. What could I say? That I was stupid? Nope, that is not a good start, but it’s oh so true.
Before the summer of 2015, I had never attended a writers’ conference, let alone the oldest and the best, the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. I am a writer, not very successful financially (or at least not as much as I’d like), but I do write, and I think I do okay at it, awkward phasing and bad grammar aside.
I had gotten myself into a position with the South Jersey Writers’ Group where I was the go-to guy for tech stuff, for blogs, for advice in general – I had somehow even gotten the nickname of ‘the patron saint of blogging.’ None of this of course was because I knew anything, but more or less because I can’t keep my mouth shut, and you all know the saying… even a broken clock is right twice a day.
The bottom line is that as the guy others came to when they had a writing problem, maybe I’d gotten it in my thick head that I couldn’t learn anything from a writers’ conference. So I never bothered to go. I did mention the stupid part, right?
So last year, after more than a few years of trying, my friend Jim Knipp finally dragged me kicking and screaming to the PWC. It was amazing. I had always loved the Writers Coffeehouses that the Philly Liars Club does every month, well, the PWC is that but with big league pizzazz. This is the real deal, man.
I learned so much. It was like I was Leo Sayer in “Long Tall Glasses.” Oof, that was a rough reference. The Bride will be jealous, cuz I’m dating myself.
Seriously, everything I thought I knew was verified, or corrected, and I learned more. I couldn’t wait to get home or just to a computer and input the new stuff into my blogs and social media, as well as my everyday writing. After blogging for so long, and neglecting my fiction, I even started back up with that again.
This is not just the knowledge we’re talking about here. The presence of other writers, rooms and rooms full of folk who are in the same mindset as yourself is a hell of an incentive to get cracking. Support and enthusiasm will fire your creativity. And that’s not even mentioning the networking. That is awesome. You will make business connections and lifelong friends at the PWC – it’s just that kind of event.
Now, because of everything I learned last year at the PWC, and since then, through all the folks I met and connected with there, it inhabits what I write. Whether it’s about writing, fiction, pop culture, or even French fries, it informs and guides me. I’m going back for more in June, are you? …or are you stupid? 😉
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