Since returning home from the writer’s retreat at Justine’s place, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my writing life. My writing goals, the current state of my WIP, the “writing” activities I take on that have nothing to do with finishing my WIP, and even my continued participation in 8Ladies. And then I get an email from RWA. Yes, it’s that time of year again – time to renew my membership as well as think about the big mama of romance writer conferences: RWA National Conference.
Justine’s Tuesday post is timely. It started me thinking: would I attend? Should I? If I do, what are my goals? To get published? That won’t happen unless I finish my MS. To see the sights of NY for the first time? I generally use some of my time at conferences to do some sight-seeing (I’m taking vacation time from my day job after all), but I doubt I’d traverse NY on my own, and experience tells me that most of the other 8Ladies won’t have the time to sight-see. The conference is a business event after all.
There’s also the issue of money. A quick and dirty tally puts the trip at a whopping $2000 +. That’s a huge investment to make without definite goals. For those ladies with a finished manuscript, attending this year makes perfect sense. New York is a hotbed of publishing insiders and it’s a good bet most will be in attendance. Given my work schedule which is sucking up my time and creative energy right now, I can’t count on having anything ready to go. Still, the thought of not going doesn’t feel right either. To pinpoint what to do, I’ve run the pros and cons:
- Renewing and strengthening existing relationships.
- I’m primarily talking the 8Ladies here. Most if not all of us will be in the NY this summer. I’d hate to miss out on seeing everyone again.
- Making new connections and contacts.
- Superficially this sounds great, but without a finished manuscript hobnobbing with industry insiders is premature and an exercise in self-delusion.
- A motivational spur to finish my manuscript.
- Maybe, but not unless I make some changes in my writing life (finding more time / energy to write).
- Workshops and Keynote addresses.
- I’ve yet to go to one Publisher’s spotlight. This year would be a great time to delve into the business side.
- Seeing New York for the first time if only from the air.
- Since McD I’ve had little interest in “craft” workshops, which leaves “writer life” type breakouts. I don’t know, but workshops feel like a been there, done that proposition.
- No Completed MS.
- Speaks for itself.
- I have to be able to justify the $$’s. Without a finished manuscript in hand, I’m having problems doing that.
I’m working on a brand new synopsis for Cheyenne that integrates the new ideas I brought home from Arizona. My plan is to have that finished by early next week and start working backwards (Draft the 3rd act and resolution before I do anything else). Once that’s done, I’ll have some idea whether I’ll be able to finish Cheyenne or not which weighs heavily in my conference decision.
In your view what’s the number one reason for attending RWA National this year?