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Blog: Born to Write 

ASJA Conference Underscores the Importance of Meeting in Person

Old friends, new friends, Facebook friends, Goodreads friends...I am beginning to think I know the whole world! Last Thursday, as a panelist at the annual conference of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), I was surprised by the number of familiar faces in the audience at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan. Only two of them were writers I see all the time. The rest were people I'd met on my journey as a writer. The most difficult to place were social media friends whom I had never met in person. Fortunately, most of them came up after my panel and, up close, I recognized them immediately and we were able to have a coherent conversation. Attending other panels, signing books, sharing lunch with old and new friends, and just wandering the crowded conference floors of the Roosevelt Hotel meant meeting people in person for the first time, or reconnecting with long-lost friends and acquaintances. It was a reminder that getting away from my writing desk and spending time - in person - with peers is an incomparable experience.