Saturday, July 24, 2010

Conference Appetizers & Desserts

The RWA National Conference is days away and I am very excited that I am attending. One of my CPs is a Golden Heart Finalist, I've got a full out to Modern Heat which I'll be able to share with the agent I'm pitching to, and I have a fantastic roommate who is also my go-to girl for critiquing. My pitch is ready. I'm practicing it on a regular basis. And finally my wardrobe is pulled together.

There are a lot of fabulous workshops to attend that cover everything from CRAFT to CAREER. This year I am focusing on the CAREER aspects of writing as I'm also making it a point to absorb all the bits of wisdom I can from my favorite authors who are presenting workshops about all aspects of writing: Suzanne Brockman, Nora Roberts, Eloisa James to name a few. I wish I could attend ALL the workshops and chats, but that would require cloning and/or super sonic speed walking.

But I can vicariously attend them before or after the conference. This week I printed out a bunch of handouts for workshops I'm interested in whether I can attend them or not. I'm giving myself a little appetizer before the huge main course. To be honest, I just can't wrap my brain around any real writing because of the swirling preparations and constant distractions. But I can read about writing and make notes for my revision. These handouts are a fabulous way to prepare my brain for information and they also are generating ideas for my current WIP that I'll implement when I return from Orlando.

Another appetizer I am enjoying is researching all my editors and agents. Sure, I'm only slotted to pitch to one editor and one agent, but I am going to several workshops and the PRO Retreat where I'll meet and hear other agents/editors speak. I want to know more about them before I walk through the doors. One never knows when an opportunity to share something about my work will come up. I want to be prepared for those opportunities. I feel that if I open myself up to any and all possibilities, the universe will reward my confidence.

Post conference, I will have an opportunity to download and listen to any chats that I missed due to schedule conflicts. Last year I bought the JR Ward Chat. It was awesome. And I still replay it on my iPhone whenever I need inspiration to keep forging ahead. You can bet I'll even download the chats I was able to attend while at the conference. I really want to take all I can into my head, but I also want some serious downtime to let my brain unwind a bit, too.

Right now I feel like I am doing a "warm up" session for my mind. I'm taking in new information, slow and steady, so I can be on top of my game when I go to the main course. The conference will be amazing and I want to make the most of this experience. I may not be able to attend another national conference until 2013 (it's in Atlanta--close to home). This conference is the 30th Anniversary. A lot of great authors, people who have stood the test of time and who I've read with total abandon and enjoyment are going to attend this conference. This is my year to learn what I can from them and bring it back to my writing corner where I can incorporate their wisdom.

When I return from the conference, I even have a big dessert planned for my future writing career. I have a new mind set already in place about how I am going to approach my writing, my process, my marketing and my attempts to get through the publishing door. I'm excited! I can't wait to start, but I'm also starting it with the mantra: everything is flexible and be open to sudden opportunities.

What is your preparation like for the conference? If you aren't able to go, what are your plans for revving up your writing now? Are your writing chapters putting on any special events? And if you're a reader, not a writer, which author would you want to listen to if you were at the conference?


M.V.Freeman said...

I think how you are prepping for nationals is awesome...they are excellent ideas.(I'm taking notes)
I like too you have a plan in place on your next step in your writing career.
Three cheers for you.. :-)
And take pictures.....

Kathy said...

Wow! You're amazing, Christine! Now I feel like a total sloth. ;)

I've been preparing too, but not as detailed a manner as you are. You've given me ideas and now I need to pump up my game.

Congrats on having a full with Mills & Boon. I do too. High five, my friend. ;)

Looking forward to seeing you soon and I know you're going to look fantastic in your Rita dress. :D

Christine said...

Hi Mary: I know you're going to rock it out this year. And we have the M&M to look forward to in October. Very fun conference. The conference workshop handouts are on the website and I think it's a good idea to print out the ones that interest you--RWA provides a wealth of educational materials for us as a part of our dues. I plan to take full advantage of them.

Christine said...

Hi Kathy: I am so happy for you about the full request. Here's to crossing all our appendages for a good result. I can't wait to see you dolled up in your full regalia for the Golden Hearts and Rita Ceremony. Woohoo!

Angel said...

Very cool way of looking at conference! I've been so focused on the logistical details that I haven't thought about preparing as a "writer" as much (although I have been through the workshops and handouts). I think I'll put on my thinking cap in regards to my writing and work on my plot between now and leaving (I certainly won't be typing up a storm with the nail tips I had put on yesterday. :))

Christine said...

Hi Angel: I'm glad you're inspired to write a bit even with the new nail tips in place :-) I am getting my pedi/mani on Monday and believe me, it is highly necessary. Brainstorming and working on the plot sounds like a perfect way to gear up your mind for the conference.

See you in Orlando!