Since beginning my writing journey in 2012, I have attended two local and two national writers’ conferences. Each time I have come away with an overwhelming amount of new knowledge about writing, marketing, and many other aspects of an author’s world.
I attended the 2015 Romance Writers of America Conference in New York a few weeks ago and for the first time I didn’t feel out of place. I was able to navigate through the workshops, book signings and my volunteer assignment with a sense of ‘I belong here.’
I met new writers from unpublished to published status and was always happy to meet up with writers I had met at previous conferences. I pitched my latest manuscript to an agent and an editor. I left each appointment amazed that I had been able to communicate during each ten-minute session and remember what had been discussed as I walked away.
All of the above was reason enough to invest my time, money and energy, but there was a flip side that meant just as much. My husband accompanied me to each conference. It was wonderful having him there to talk me down when I was overwhelmed and wondering why I ever thought I belonged here. He made sure I had what I needed – lunch between workshops, a shower cap from housekeeping or a foot rub at the end of a long day.
At the national conferences, we arrived a few days early to have personal time for sightseeing. To explore new places together has been satisfying and given us an appetite to experience future venues wherever they may take us. Last year I attended the Southern Magic Readers Luncheon in Birmingham and this year I was present at the Heart of Dixie Romance Readers Luncheon in Huntsville. Because we live in Georgia, it was an easy drive both times and a lovely weekend getaway from our usual routine.
I am hooked. We are planning our 2016 agenda of events. We will be attending the RWA conference in San Diego and are looking at the Romantic Times conference that will be held in Las Vegas. Who knew writing would open up a world of travel for two people ready to explore and enjoy their approaching retirement years.