In the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some insights and observations from the 2016 SCBWI LA Conference that was held July 29-31. I will also be sharing any specific, but perennial, tips through my Blab-o-Tips newsletter so if you aren’t subscribed to that, I’d encourage you to check it out!Community always strikes me when I arrive at the conference each year. Not just seeing familiar faces and reuniting with friends, but just the feel in general. These are our people, our “tribe” as author Bruce Coville is fond of saying.

Sharing victories

I was chatting briefly with a lovely woman in the hotel check-in line and suddenly she checked her phone and a huge grin spread across her face. “I queried an agent who is going to be here and he wants the full!” I wooped and gave her a high five–I felt her joy as my own and loved that she was so excited she had to share her news.

Remember to share your victories, both large and small.

Sharing friendship

Before a keynote I talked with an illustrator who was also an actress. I met new writers from the Rocky Mountain region and talked with dear friends. Each time I came away with the feeling that we were in this together. No competition, no fear that someone might take my idea if I shared it. Just a sense of excitement that we were doing something we loved, that mattered, and we understood that about each other simply by being in this space and time together.

Remember to let your friends know they matter.

Got Community?

Whatever you are doing that you love–it may not even be writing or illustrating–I hope you have a group of people you gather with who share that love. Whether it’s a large conference like the one I attended, or a weekly or monthly get together for coffee, connect with those people who lift you up and who look to you for a lift.

And if you are a writer or illustrator and haven’t signed up for the RMC-SCBWI Letters & Lines Fall Conference, do it! Be a part of a beautiful and supportive community.

Next week: Hope