That’s a bit cliche, I know but it also feels sort of true. I arrived yesterday for the RWA National Conference and feel jazzed. That’s the only word for it. I even woke up jonesing to work out, and luckily the fitness center is on my floor just a few doors down from my room. I spent last night exploring and today touring.
The thing I really love about attending Nationals – or any conference for that matter – is the ability to talk to other writers who understand what I mean about the voices in my head, or who understand the need to block out a scene to know how to explain it, or who look up the name for the little thingies on the end of shoelaces so they can use the right name (because readers WILL write in to tell us when we’re wrong). It’s more than a camaraderie. It’s a fundamental connection over a shared passion.
I started writing in junior high and until my mid-20s it was a hidden passion. I was afraid people would make fun of me or worse, want to read my stuff then hate it. I’m still afraid of that last one some days. I also majored in chemistry and the duality of my love for science seemed to preclude my love of romance novels. And who would take me seriously as a scientist if I wrote romance novels?
I’ve met romance writers in all professions – law, medicine, science, teaching, military, service, support. I’ve met men and women, old and young, every ethnicity and nationality, published, unpublished, haven’t written a word to have written 10,000 words THAT day. (I could hate that last one, btw. How do they do that??)
Through it all, we speak the same language: characterization, plot, setting, voice. I’ve never met a writer that was a stranger for long. A short time ago I rode up in the elevator with a woman and we had an instant bond (both carrying our RWA goody bags) that bridged any perceived differences.
I’m off now to see if my promo material has arrived so I can stash it in the goody room. Hopefully I will find some new readers, but mostly this week is about making friends and learning. The workshops being offered this year are phenomenal and the only problem I see so far is being able to clone myself to attend more than one workshop per hour. The other good thing is that I will get to see old friends. So I’m off!! I’ll report back next week!