I've heard the belief for years--if you are SERIOUS about your writing career then you must attend writer's conferences. Period. If you don't then you aren't really serious. I get this belief. I really, really do. But I don't necessary agree with it.
Is it wise to attend a writer's conference? Sure. It's probably a very important thing to do, though I have never attended one myself. It's not for lack of want, it's just that I haven't been able to. Period. Does that mean I'm not a real writer? I don't know, let's ask the 11 books I have under contract.
This summer I hope to attend my very first writer's conference. It is only a one day conference, and it is in my own state, but that is what's reasonable for me. If you are like me, and attending the "big" conferences is out of the question for you (for now), you can try some of the things I did. I will focus on just one in this post. Check back later for more info.
I read lots of books. Books in the genre I want to write (this includes picture books and novels), and books about writing. My favorites (meaning the ones I find particularly useful) are Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul, Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass, the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass, and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King. Happy reading!