This last January I had the privilege of attending the San Diego Writers Conference, held at the newly upgraded Doubletree Hotel in Mission Valley. The venue was beautiful, the machine of the Writers Conference hummed along flawlessly, and the very best parts were the people.
The camaraderie of writers is a delight to experience. The professionals stoop to help the newcomers, the assured comfort the nervous (ye who are about to find out what an agent thought of your novel, we salute your courage), we cheerfully and thoughtfully dissect each other’s work, and then we retire to dinner or the bar to sip and sup and talk about the trials and comforts of the trade. Ideas and sometimes deals are worked out over a cocktail napkin. Friendships are made and sometimes even romances.
Writing is devilish hard work, as those who have iron enough to confront the virtual blank paper of a word processor know. It’s never assured, and lonely when you create, and sometimes hollow in the achievement of work that sometimes goes unread after all the sweat and tears put in. But there is the phone, or chat, and the solitude is broken. And perhaps once or twice a year you can make a pilgrimage to meet with your profession: agents, editors, a multitude of other writers, and then come the triumphs, small and great of learning more about your trade, your fellows, and yourself.
So it was a chill wind in my heart when I read that the 2013 San Diego Writers Conference was cancelled.
The founder and coordinator, Diane Dunaway Kramer, was injured in an auto accident, and has been unable to help put together this year’s event. I pray for her recovery.
I will miss the camaraderie this year. I hope the event will be back in 2014.
–William V. Burns