Wednesday, April 03, 2024

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group and Spunky on the Road – Conferences and More

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

The question for today: How long have you been blogging? (Or on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram?) What do you like about it and how has it changed?

I started this blog on March 22, 2005. Nineteen years ago! I had no idea what I was doing, but I’d attended a seminar on blogging at the Virginia Festival of the Book that month and decided to give it a try.

I can’t begin to tell you the changes over the years. In the beginning, a blog was more like a free website. It wasn’t the community that most of us know. Other bloggers didn’t follow and comment on other blogs. We were just throwing stuff out there, hoping someone would find us.

While blogging has waned the past few years, it’s still a community, and that’s nice. I might not blog but once a month now, but I like connecting with other writers and friends I’ve made over the years.

* * *

Spunky on the Road

I’ve a lot of events coming up, which is fun. I just did a book store last month, the first one I’ve done in YEARS. (I SO miss Waldenbooks.) But here are the events for the next two months:

April 13, 10-2:00 pm
Local Authors Fair
Clayton Center, Clayton NC

April 17, 9-1:00 pm
Read Local Author Fair
Hosted by Mauney Memorial Library
Patrick Senior Center, King’s Mountain, NC
Featured speaker!

May 4, 11-2:00 pm
The Novel Nest Bookstore, Wilson, NC 27993

May 17-19
Pennwriters Conference
Double Tree Resort, Lancaster, PA

June 1, 10:30-12:30 pm
Story Keeper Bookstore, Selma, NC

The Pennwriters Conference will be a double bonus, as I finally get to meet author Susan Gourley! (And I appreciate her recommending me for the conference.)

I still remember meeting Toi Thomas at the Hampton Roads Writers Conference in Virginia Beach, VA. She was so excited to meet ME, but the feeling was mutual.

My favorite conference will always be the Bayou Writers Conference in Lake Charles, LA. Bless IWSG anthology author Jessica Ferguson for recommending me. I also got to meet IWSG anthology author Slyvia Ney.
They flew me to Louisiana (my first visit!), put me up in a super nice hotel, and treated me like royalty the whole weekend. (Double bonus – my best friend, Kerri, who had just moved to Texas and I'd feared I’d never see her again, drove in for the conference and we got to spend the weekend together.)

So, to say that I am THRILLED to be doing so many live events again would be an understatement.

What about you? Do you enjoy live events? How long have you been blogging?


Ann Bennett said...

Oh man, I wish I could go to Pennwriters to see you. I had to look it up although I knew I probably could not make it. For one thing, I need to do a little more writing than dreaming about and studying about writing. Does that sound like a familiar scenario?
I will go to two book fairs this month. Buying books when I have several bookcases to hold my tbr titles sounds reasonable I know.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

2008 for me. :) That's cool that you took a seminar to learn more. You'll have to do something special next year for your 20th!

Pat Garcia said...

You do have a busy schedule, but I am sure you will excel.
All the best and have a lovely day.
Shalom shalom

Liza said...

I like the connections I've made through blogging too. The communication between other writers is so helpful.

Leigh Caron said...

You have an incredible schedule, and still you blog. I'm impressed. Love your energy and focus.

H. R. Sinclair said...

I love all the reminiscing about blogging today! You have a business schedule coming up, but it looks fun too!

My blog has moved, you can find it here:

Nick Wilford said...

So you'll celebrate 20 years next year. That's an unreal number! It has changed a lot, but I feel like the connections many of us forged early on have endured. Glad you're back out enjoying live events and you're lucky to have met many friends that way too.

Loni Townsend said...

Wow! That's quite the length of time for blogging! I am among the population who just throws stuff out there and hopes people read. I didn't realize visiting people was a thing until I met Melissa Maygrove and learned about IWSG.

Jennifer Lane said...

19 years is impressive, L. Diane! You have a lot of travel lined up. Please let me know if you're ever in the South Carolina Lowcountry (Bluffton, Beaufort, Hilton Head Island), and I'd love to meet.

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree, it is more about community. It's cool to see that you're on the road meeting people and readers. I remember how excited I was to meet you in person.
I do enjoy live events and hope to do more in the coming years.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've never done a live event - have fun with them all!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Elizabeth, I certainly will.

Nick, live events are the best.

Jennifer, I will. We need to get back to Charleston one day soon.

Toi, and I was excited to meet you.

Jemi, they are SO much fun!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I've been blogging since 2011. I still enjoy being connected to the writing community and helping writers and authors. I've only done a Zoom presentation. I don't love Zoom and live presenting that much. I have imposter syndrome. Enjoy your upcoming events.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Wow, 19 years of blogging is a long long time. I have been blogging from 2010.

emaginette said...

I drove six hours to go the the Surrey International Writing Conference. I came out of it supercharged. It felt great. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Fundy Blue said...

You have a demanding schedule, Diane! That's great! Like you I enjoy meeting fellow members of the IWSG. I do like live events, but haven't participated in one for a while. Good luck with all your presentations! I know you will be great!

Sandra Cox said...

I loved Spunky on the road. Especially hearing about the Bayou conference:)

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I’ve been blogging since maybe January 2012. ANd I love doing live appearances, but mostly have no idea how to find those opportunities.

Olga Godim said...

Nineteen years is such a respectable age for a blog(ger).
I have only been to a couple of writing events and conferences since I started writing, but I know for sure I don't like them. Crowds always make me uncomfortable, and such events are invariably crowded.

Melissa said...

Blogging has waned. I miss the days of the Platform-building Campaigns. But I worked less hours then and had the time.

In case you're wondering, I caught my error when I got home from work this morning and added in the names of the co-hosts. Oops. One of the downsides of prescheduling posts.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm so excited to meet you in person also. And since I'm in charge of registration, I can tell you a lot of attendees have signed up to pitch to you in person also. Can't wait.

I'm blogging once a month also except for promotions and I really value the people I've met and the things I've learned.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Natalie, Zoom puts this barrier between you and the audience. I am not a fan.

Anna, that's wonderful.

Sandra, that conference was such a joy.

Rebecca, often it's who you know.

Susan, oh my! And I'm only taking three genres - LOL.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Lancaster! I lived out there. And am living not far from there.
Shady Maple-- best place to eat if you're REALLY hungry. I mean, really really. The giftshop downstairs will blow your mind. The farmer's market is a pretty cool store.
Don't get photo happy though, as pictures are against the religion of many locals.

That's an impressive blogging history. Yeah, we certainly have more community now. That's what I enjoy. said...

Nineteen years is a long time. Enjoy your events!

Yvonne Osborne said...

I still think it's a great way to stay connected and connection is what writers are all about!

Mary Aalgaard said...

That's fantastic. I believe that those of us who are in it for the connection and place to share our ideas and work are around for the long haul.

Gwen Gardner said...

Like you, I blog once a month just to keep in touch with the writing community. I appreciate this group so much!

So nice that you get to meet some of our peeps in person :)

Marie Andreas said...

I love live events, both the reader focused (aka selling) and the writer ones (currently Author Nation and NINC). Interacting with readers and writers is wonderful! (even though I am far more on the introvert side of things ;)).

I've been blogging for about 15 years I think. It's a good way to keep in touch with other writers and readers.

Annalisa Crawford said...

You've got a lot going on. All the events near me invite big name authors and don't have space for unknowns :-(

Have a great time.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Bravo to you, Diane, on all the events you will be attending this year. Way to go! I love live events, but sometimes it's difficult to get people to attend. I'm sure that's not the case with your events.

You are amazing in all you do to assist writers with their novels. Thank you for another great post. All best with your events.

Pat Hatt said...

Connections are the best part indeed. Almost a nice round 20 years of blogging for you too.