So, like the title says, I have the nervous jitters right now, and I’ll tell you why. This time next week I will be at my first ever RWA Conference. Romance Writers of America is a national organization that provides networking, support, and education (in the form of seminars and online courses) to those pursuing a serious career in writing romantic fiction. I joined the RWA shortly after I published book 1 of The Pierced Trilogy, and I did so mainly because it sounded like a safe, friendly place to find like-minded people and learn more about my craft and the publishing industry. So far, that has been the case and I’m enjoying being a member. But I am extremely nervous about attending this conference because, from everything I’ve been hearing and reading about it, pretty much everybody who is anybody in the world of romantic fiction will be there. Top editors and agents from all over, not to mention all your favorite romance authors! I’ll probably be too busy making a fool of myself and being star-struck to do myself any good!
I’m told that most of the writers who attend conference, do so in order to meet with their editors/agents, or to make a pitch to prospective editors/agents. In fact, a big part of the conference is scheduling those all-important editor/agent appointments. I didn’t do that. And the reason I didn’t is because, frankly, I’m feeling very overwhelmed at the moment. My main reason for wanting to go to conference was to catch the seminars. They are offering some really great ones this year – including an entire track on self-publishing! To me, that’s exciting stuff, and I can’t wait. When I first wrote Pierced and decided to self-publish it, it honestly never even occurred to me to try to go the traditional publishing route. I’m not sure why exactly. Although it could have something to do with the fact that I am the most impatient person on the planet, and I know that going the traditional route often takes years. So self-publishing has been my focus from the beginning, and I’m excited about sitting in on these lectures.
Then there’s the excitement of meeting new people. And I’ve also been reading all of these tips on what to expect and how to survive the conference. Things like: always have your business cards handy (business cards for a writer?), and be sure to wear comfortable shoes, and make certain to have your elevator pitch ready to go. Until a month or so ago, I didn’t even know what an elevator pitch was! If I added pitching to an editor or agent on top of all that right now, “nervous jitters” would be the understatement of the year!
Anyway, wish me luck. When I get back, I’ll tell you how it all went. Follow me on Twitter to catch my tweets from the conference!