RWA 2014

The 2014 RWA National Conference has joined the ranks of memories along with the eight others I’ve had the privilege to attend, and like good wine and good men, the conferences just continue to get better.  (Speaking of good men, Happy Birthday to my hunky real life hero who is celebrating #65 today!)

At my first conference ten years ago, I roomed alone because I needed time to go back to the room and process and de-escalate.  This year, I had two roommates, and I pretty much went non-stop the entire time, somehow making it through the day on as little as four hours of sleep.

But it was soooooo worth it!

Getting to talk to my editor in-person. having fun time to get to know other  authors, simply sitting in the room with so many people who share my passion–these things put a spring back in my typing fingers (yes, Cynthia, both of them 🙂  Authors are isolated creatures, surrounded by and entrenched in our thoughts and musings.  How pleasant it can be to get entrenched in someone’s else’s for a change!

Even after writing seven books, I still learn so much  from other writers.  One of the best workshops I went to (and there were many) was taught by Lisa Cron,author of WIRED FOR STORY–The Writers Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence.  The workshop covered some of the key ideas in her book and was fascinating.  The hour flew by so quickly, I wasn’t ready for it to be over, so when I got home, one of the first things I did was buy the book and start reading immediately (Thank you, Kindle!).  If you are a new writer, or (like me) someone who is always looking for a more efficient method of getting the story from brain to completion, I can’t recommend this book enough.

Another highlight of the conference was being present when our own Laura Drake won the Rita for Best First Book.  That alone made me realize how far I’ve come in this business.  The award-winners are no longer simply names of people I’ve heard of–they are people I know and care for and root for.  Sisters!

No wonder the DJ at the Harlequin party always starts the night of dancing with “We are Family.”  It sums us up so perfectly.  We come from all over the world and many walks of life, but the RWA Conference is like a gigantic family reunion.  The writing gene weaves through all of our DNAs.

And if you’re a writer and have never been to a writing conference, do yourself a favor and go.

Have you ever been to a writing conference?  If so, what was your favorite part?  If not, just use your imagination and tell us what you believe would be your favorite part?