So my friend Angie is attending the Romance Writer’s of America National Conference this week. This year I’m not going and I have mixed emotions about it. I’ve been to this conference many times, and I both love and hate it for many reasons. Let me tell you why:
Reasons I love the conference:
I get to see my fellow authors, both those that I know well and those I don’t know at all. Writing is such a solitary endeavor. This is our opportunity to shrug off the cobwebs and be around real, live people again and do what we love to do most—talk writing and books. I can never get enough of this.
Meeting readers – The literacy signing is open to the public, and we get to meet new readers. There’s nothing more awesome than that.
The opportunity to talk to my editors and my agent. Sure, we talk via email and phone throughout the year, but there’s nothing like sitting down face to face for a little career planning with your editor and agent.
And if you’re searching for an editor or agent, the chance to pitch your book in one of the sessions is priceless, because the RWA conference ranks as one of the mostly highly attended by editors and agents searching to sign romance authors. Wheee!
Workshops – Whether you’re new to the romance writing business, or a seasoned veteran, there are workshops that can benefit you and your career. Workshops from how to plot a book to how to understand your royalty statement and everything in between means there’s something for everyone.
Networking, networking, networking – I can’t stress this enough. This is the best part of the conference.
Nora Roberts is always there. She has great shoes. It’s worth it to go just to check out Nora’s shoes. 😉
Booze & Bullshit sessions with your best friends. Truly, there’s nothing like taking the time over cocktails to dish writing, the industry, and whatever else you have on your mind. I’ll miss not being able to do that. *sigh*
Reasons I don’t love the conference:
Putting on makeup. Every. Single. Day. (ugh) And you have to comb your hair. What’s up with that?
Freezing (It might be as hot as the 7th Level of Hell outside, but hotels are notoriously arctic)
Tired, sore feet. (Rule of thumb for conferences—wherever you need to be, it’s on the other side of the hotel. And you need to be there in 5 minutes. Run! And if you’re wearing 4 inch heels, we’re all going to laugh at you)
Exhaustion – You’re up early and at it from sunup to sundown. Conferences are wonderful because there’s always something to do. And conferences are heinous because there’s always something to do. There’s rarely any downtime and you never get enough sleep. Plan on a week’s recovery time after you get home.
You can’t go to a conference in your sweats or pajamas (Harlequin Pajama party is the exception)
Hotel food (really, do I need to expound about this?)
2000 women. And they all have to use the bathrooms at the same time.
The conference is usually held in an awesome city that you never get to see because you never leave the hotel—unless you planned to come in early or stay after the conference.
All that smiling. It makes my face hurt.
So have you ever been to a conference of any kind? If so, share the good and the bad with me. If you haven’t attended a conference, I know you’ve been on vacation, so share the what to do and what not to do’s of any kind of trip.
And because Angie is sharing her love of books with the world of RWA this week, I’ll offer up any one of my books in my backlist for one commenter. You can check out all my books here at my website. I’ll draw a winner on Sunday.