Writers conferences are interesting creations. They’re a way to get critical appraisals of your work, plus a chance to catch up with friends, plus a chance to network and learn more about the publishing industry. So, part social occasion, part extended business meeting. And generally there’s food. Always a plus.

I had a good experience at one over the weekend (run by one of my groups, Women Who Write) — good feedback, informative workshops, pleasant lunch with my critique group tribe. It’s funny, writing is such a solitary endeavor; you could literally sit and type (or handwrite, if you prefer) for hours without seeing or speaking to another soul. And you probably wouldn’t even notice, if you’re anything like me, because of all the characters chattering in your head, awaiting their big scenes. But it’s good to be non-solitary once in a while. Leave the room. See the sunshine. Conduct a conversation with actual people. It’s good practice, at any rate, should you have any plans to promote your work, once you get published.

And then you can crawl back to your writer’s garret and go back to being brilliant.

Oh, and the other nice thing about conferences — you can always add to your book stockpile. I brought two books home by Chris Grabenstein, the keynote speaker: “Fun House” and “Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.” Neither one is precisely in my genre comfort zone, but, I reasoned, he was utterly hilarious in person, so he must be even more so in book form.

(They’ll both have to wait, though, until I finish “Gone Girl.” I know there’s a big twist in there somewhere, and I want to read it for myself before someone spoils it for me.)

In the meantime, back to my garret. So to speak. (It’s more along the lines of a spare corner.)