I’m coming to you from high atop Times Square at the Marriott Marquis, this year’s location for the craziness that is the Romance Writers of America National Conference. Two thousand romance writers (mostly women, but there are men among our ranks, as well) descend on an unsuspecting city for a week of workshops and reunions, capped off by the Oscars of the romance writing world, The RITA Awards.
During the space of that week, attendees will learn about the craft of writing, the marketing of said writing, and the business of writing. Some will find an agent or editor, sell a manuscript, make a new best friend, maybe win an award or two, all while rubbing elbows with the superstars of our genre.
It’s an exhausting whirlwind of a week, but I also find it invigorating, affirming, and inspirational. I always leave at the end of the conference with aching feet and a renewed desire to write the best book possible.
If we’re being honest here, it’s an especially exhausting week for this devout introvert, who could just as easily hide away in her peaceful hotel room ordering room service three meals a day. I have to push myself past these boundaries and get out there in the big, scary world of [gasp!] socializing. But it’s all worth it, and at the end of the day, I know I can seek the solitude of my room and regroup for the next onslaught, er, day.
I’ve been an RWA member since 2010, the year before my debut novel, The Promise of Change, was published by Soul Mate Publishing. I’ve learned so much since then, and met so many wonderful people. I know I could have never published my first romance if I hadn’t been part of this amazing organization. And, even with nine releases under my belt, I still glean valuable information from the conferences, not to mention catching up with old friends and making new ones.
Since this is only day-one of the conference, I don’t have any specifics to report, but I can tell you that I ran into one of my faves, Kristan Higgins, and we bonded over our decision to go gray. I had a lovely evening on Tuesday at the Contemporary Romance Writers Stiletto dinner and awards ceremony. I didn’t win, but it was nice to be a finalist.
Well! Gotta run! Got workshops to attend and people to see!
If you’re at RWA this week, I hope to run into you. Leave me a comment if you’re here!