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Sunday, August 26, 2012

DON'T SWEAT THE CONFERENCES

Conferences are such an exciting event in my writing calendar, but can also be filled with stresses.
Will I pitch to an agent, an editor?
What workshops do I attend?  If I go to abc workshop, I’ll miss out on xyz workshop.  
And of course, on every woman’s lips – what shall I wear?
For me, stuck in my little office way out in the country, with dogs, cats and local pukekos (birds), ducks, fantails, hawks and not to mention, cows, sheep, horses etc – for company, well, getting dressed up once a year should put the fear of god into me.  First of all it’s dusting off my high heels, replacing my normal sneakers, then there is the dreaded trying on the ‘good’ clothes and seeing if they still fit me a year later – that would put the frighteners on any woman I reckon.
But the truth is we writers (and yes at the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference we are mostly women) we’re not going to ogle what each other is wearing, but to listen to speakers, learn something new and most of all be inspired to create stories that publishers, agents, and best of all, our readers, will love reading.  So if I trudge up in jeans and a sweatshirt, leaving the gumboots/Wellingtons behind, it’ll be okay. The most important thing is to just actually be there and absorb as much as I can because those moments of inspiration will sustain me for the following 52 weeks until the next conference.  The inspiration does work.  I dreamed up No Sex Necessary while at conference one year, and also He’s the One.
This year’s conference has a great line up, but mostly I’m looking forward to hearing what Randy Ingermanson has to say about his snowflake method of writing.  I’m sure  it’s going to open a wonderful new world to me in the plotting department of my books and that when I sit down to start my next book which all going well will be in a couple of weeks, Randy’s method will just make my plotting angst disappear, and it’ll all be plain sailing from the get go, until I type the end.
Well, I can hope anyway.
Another speaker I’m so looking forward to is in fact my lovely friend Sophia James.  She’s going to be talking to about layering a story.  When I read her books I can see all the depth she’s dug up when she’s done this planning.  She tells me she just thinks and thinks and then asks why, why, why for a few weeks before she starts. 
Now, note to self at this point. Don’t go around asking why, why why, out loud, because sure as the sun is going to come up the next day, if I’m heard muttering why, why, the men in white coats might come around and take me away…
But hey I’m a writer and we’re all a bit nuts aren’t we?  We talk to ourselves, make up stories in our heads and talk to our invisible characters, for goodness sakes.  And I wouldn’t change it for the world.


Happy writing and reading every one

4 comments:

Tina Donahue said...

I'd love to be able to attend the conferences, but it's sooooo expensive.

I did enjoy the one RWA national I went to. :)

jean hart stewart said...

I loved the comment on why, why, why. I'm stuck right now on my plot line and will definitely try this right away.

Fiona McGier said...

I've been lucky that the last few times I was stuck on a plot, I had dreams in which the characters talked me through the rough parts and I sat down at my laptop ready to write!

I'm with you, Tina. Working multiple jobs is exhausting, but having multiple kids in college ensures there no money left for things like conferences. Someday...

JaneB said...

Sorry ladies i didn't get back to your comments till today..am confernced out! It was wonderful and full of light bulb moments. That why why why question is so important. Helps you dig deeper. I would love to go to an RWA conference. I hear it's in Atlanta next year. I'm in NZ so its long way - about 18 hours flying to get there. Hmmm? All i need is to beamed up, so much easier.

Tks for stopping by
Jane