It’s that time of year when writers dream of conferences, when those who are going go nuts trying to get ready, when those who aren’t but want to wish they could, and when those who shudder at the idea of all those people together in one spot are grateful they’re not going.
This week, we’ve got the Romance Writers of America’s national conference in Atlanta. It’s chock-full of workshops, book signings, meetings and parties, parties, parties. For years, I’ve been one of the wanna-bes. I’ve watched on Twitter as people tweeted all kinds of cool things going on, and I’m fairly certain I turned Kermit-green with envy.
This year, however, is a different story. I’m going to conference. And I’m freaking out.
My plan was to go, have a relaxing, fun chance to meet people I’ve talked with online, learn some new things, and immerse myself in all things writer.
(Right now, anyone who’s been to a conference is laughing their heads off at me. I can hear it from here.)
I arrive on Wednesday and as soon as I get to the hotel, I have a thing. Then the literacy book signing, which I’m not doing because SOMEONE *looks at self in mirror and sticks out tongue* waited too long to sign up for conference and missed a chance at that. I’m planning on being just another fangirl that night, saying hi to all my own favorite writers. And in case you’re interested, I am doing the Harlequin book signing on Friday, so if you’re at RWA, stop by and see me! The rest of my days are full of meetings, parties, meetings, parties. And then I go home.
I’m excited for all this, don’t get me wrong. But I’m an introvert, like many writers. This means I need downtime. So if you see a woman with crazy curly hair sitting in a corner with earbuds in to block everything out, tapping away frantically on a laptop, it’s probably me. I have edits due right after conference is done. And considering it’s a conference full of writers, I’m guessing I won’t be the only one.
Another crazy part of conference is the clothes. And the shoes. And the clothes. And the shoes. And the bags. Usually I can pack for a four-day trip in a duffle bag. This one, not so much. I’ve been ordered to leave my crocs at home, too. *sad face* If you’re there, you may see me barefoot. Or in sneakers.
Then there are the things. Business cards. Promo items, if you’ve got them (I don’t, except for business cards and promo cards). Anything else you might need.
Who knew? Not I.
But I do know one thing. I’m really looking forward to meeting all the people I’ve met online who are going. Writers, readers, bloggers, agents, publishing people. It will be really nice to put names (and avatars!) with real faces and voices.
So, if you’ve been to conferences, what advice would you give a newbie? If you haven’t been, do you watch the tweets and FB posts for pictures and stories?