Have I mentioned that I’m a writer? You probably put that together by now.

I am beginning to think that being a writer is a physiological and emotional thing. Part of that physiological thing is a constant need to be surrounded by people like me. People who can go from thinking, “Wow! That paragraph– that scene– I really¬†am a writer. And a pretty darn good one!” to “I just need to raise goats and learn to play the guitar. This word stuff is impossible and I hate it.” These are writers. Even accomplished, inarguably successful writers go through this, it seems.

I’m so excited that conference season is beginning soon. The first writing conference I get to attend is LTUE– easily one of the best writing and spec-fic conferences for your money. Smart, wonderfully goofy and good, and hard-working people gather at this thing and riff about all things spec-fic and writing.

That said, LDS Storymakers is the highlight of my conference season. More of my (undeserved) friends show up to that conference, and when I sit around and chat with them, talking writing, story, character, dialogue, and more– I just feel empowered and as if a need that had been growing in me has been met.

Don’t get me wrong, I still feel like a poser when I’m surrounded by these folks. I am terrified of asking any of them to read my stuff, because what if IT SUCKS?? But then I think of how many of them got a leg up from others who went before them and I think I ought to just ask for that leg up.

But I hate to impose.

Gosh I’m a pansy.

Anyway, I’m writing about these conferences because I’m excited to attend them for a lot of reasons. LDS Storymakers is a bit pricey, but the opportunities to learn and network ¬†and make friends with extraordinary people are amazing. This year’s Storymakers has Anne Perry as the keynote speaker– and you can attend only the keynote if you want.

Anybody reading this who’s interested in this conference, go to the LDS Storymakers Website. (You don’t have to be LDS. You should write clean stuff, though.)

I should also mention that this is the first time I’ve decided to take part in the Storymakers “Show Your Love” contest. To that end, I want you to stop by the description of this contest and join up– let’s make it a fair contest and get lots of people involved. I still need to win, but I want lots of you to be awash in disappointment. Here’s the link to the contest description on the Storymaker Authors Blog.

While this year has involved only enough writing to more or less stay caught up with my movie review website, ReviewsbyJared.com, I so badly need to get back in the novel saddle. My day job has been totally robbing me of my real job, and I need to rectify that.

These conferences are an important part of that. I don’t really have any goals for these conferences– for the first time ever– but maybe I’ll come up with some. I’m still trying to get my foot back in the stirrup.

If you’re a writer, check out LDS Storymakers. Join your people.