Since I first figured out what that round object with the raised seams was, February has been an exciting time of year for me. Spring training. Even in the midst of New England snows and chilling cold, people were starting to play baseball in faraway, mysterious lands called Florida and Arizona. The September lament of “Wait ’til next year” was replaced with “Next year is here.” The sports section took on a new brightness as I scoured it for reports of my beloved Braves and all the steps they were taking to become champions.
The same anticipation stirs now that I am a writer. February feels like when conference season begins. December is taken up with Christmas. January seems to be a time of preparation and planning for the rest of the year.
Like spring training, as a writer, February has the sense of putting on that uniform, picking up that leather glove and feeling the resounding smack of a ball hitting my palm, swinging the bat and watching the ball sail over the fence.
This week, I head for my first conference of 2013, Writing for the Soul, in Colorado Springs. A time to renew friendships and catch up on details that don’t fit into 140 characters or take up too much space for an email or Facebook post. A time to bask in the wisdom of teachers, to soak in all they have to offer, to see ways to apply new insights and knowledge to my own writing. A time to touch base with agents and editors, to learn more of how the industry is changing and how those changes will affect me.
I’ve never played professional baseball. But I am a professional writer. And the first conference of the year fills me with the same eager anticipation a ballplayer experiences when he prepares to step on that diamond and into the reality of pursuing his dream.
What conferences are you looking forward to attending this year? What’s your favorite conference? Why?