In the past few months I've been whining about how little I hear from readers. I love praise--who doesn't--but that's not specifically what I seek. I simply want some interaction with the people who read my work. I love writing with all my heart, but it's isolating--especially when it's your full-time job and you work at home.
What I think I'd forgotten was that I haven't been to the GCLS conference for three years, and hadn't gotten my infusion of interaction/feedback/love that the Con provides. Having just returned from Washington, I feel like my tank is full once again, and, with luck, all of that interaction will power me for quite a few months. I'm not able to go to Women's Week in P'town this year, so it's going to have to last a full year, but I got so many good vibes that I think it might.
For those of you who haven't gone, I'd suggest making it a priority. Many, if not most, of the people who go are on the shy side, so don't use that as an excuse. Not having anyone to go with shouldn't stop you either. There's a great program for Con Virgins that will hook you up with a buddy, not to mention the built-in camaraderie from meeting the other first timers. Having limited economic resources shouldn't put a crimp in your plans, either. There are scholarships that can help or fully pay for your admission and there are always people ready, willing, and able to share a room.
In recent years, writers have begun to make up a larger and larger percentage of the attendees. In my opinion, we should do all we can to reverse that trend. Without readers, we're just writing for ourselves--a fine hobby, but not nearly as much fun as having an audience. In particular, I'd love to see the people who are relatively or completely isolated as lesbians/bisexual/trans women in their communities. I live in New York City, a place where you can't sneeze without hitting a gay person, yet I get a real high from being surrounded by women with whom I have one big thing in common. Well, two. Besides being gay, we all love reading and writing, or we love a woman who does.
I've been a member of GCLS since the beginning, and I will acknowledge that there have been some growing pains through the years. But the current board has learned from the mistakes of the past and seem to me to be committed to making this an inclusive, open-minded, fiscally sound group that's worthy of your support. But even if you don't care about the organization, I can guarantee some fun times after the official schedule is finished for the day. It's fun to take over the bar in a big hotel and let the female energy flow!
Next year's Con is in Chicago, a place I lived for much of my young adult life, and the place I met my wife. I'm very much looking forward to going, and if you need any convincing, drop me a note. I can be very persuasive