Today I'm back in the office after twelve days on the road, attending writers conferences on two consecutive weekends.
Both events featured inspiring keynoters and multiple one-on-one appointments—times to connect with aspiring writers and potential colleagues.
Toward the end of that marathon I was beginning to feel like my cell phone, which I had forgotten to recharge.
But the final afternoon of the second conference I seized the opportunity to do more than attend the keynotes, take appointments, and teach my own classes. The schedule allowed me to attend someone else's workshop.
The presenter spoke about nurturing the writer's soul—an essential topic for someone working daily in this business.
She discussed the problems we face, spoke about her practices, then asked the audience what they do to stay fresh.
The ideas varied as much at the personalities of the people. (I mentioned my longtime practice of listening to a narrator read Scripture as I follow along with a printed version.) That hour of downtime from my responsibilities gave me several new ideas I plan to apply.
If even one of those helps me keep my batteries charged, I'll consider the time well spent.
That's what writers conferences are for.