And as to experience--well, think how little some good poets have had, or how much some bad ones have. - Elizabeth Bishop
I'm taking a break from the writing conference to write this post. I usually enjoy conferences, the workshops, the new people, the different points of view, a group of people coming together and talking about one of my favorite subjects, creative writing.
Like every industry the publishing industry has rules and if you want to be published conferences are a great way to meet agents, editors and industry professionals. But its not the only way to be published. If you're persistant and passionate about your work you will succeed. Maybe all you require to be successful is a finished page in a journal no one will ever see. Or a poem on your fridge or a children's book you wrote just for your grandchild. I meet all of these people at the conference, people who will probably never seek commercial fiction publication but they are all still writers.
If you write you're a writer, you don't have to prove anything to anyone. When and if you are ready for publication don't let anyone stand in your way, writers write. Now get back to work!
The Writing Nag