I live in a place where there are not a lot of writers (or at least not any writers I know). I'm so jealous of some of you with great local writing communities. It must be amazing to get together and talk about writing on a regular basis.
Don't get me wrong, I have GREAT writing friends. They just all happen to live on the other side of the country, so we basically only communicate through email.
I think there's something to be said for being able to meet and talk to other writers face to face. In an hour Sarah and I were able to cover every topic from recent reads to submission experiences. It was wonderful to chat with someone who is doing the same things I'm doing. I came away feeling energized and excited about writing.
This is the main reason I think every writer should consider going to a conference. I don't know about you, but I tend to get lost in my little bubble. I get busy with the kids, cleaning, running errands, blogging and writing and I lose sight of the big picture. I forget that behind those blogs there are REAL people--people who love writing and books as much as I do. Meeting other writers in person brings it all home. We are not alone in this. We may type away on our computers all by ourselves everyday, but there are thousands of other people who know what it's like. They "get" us in ways our friends and family probably don't.
Have any of you met writer friends in person? What have you gained from those experiences?