I’m off soon for the 2011 RWA (Romance Writers of America) Conference, to be held this year in New York City. It’s a huge conference with some 2,100 attendees: agents, editors, aspiring writers, and published authors. Inevitably, 99.9% of the attendees will be female; the occasional male editor or agent must find the estrogen levels dizzying.
This will be my third conference, and I look forward all year to attending. It’s energizing to have a break from the daily distractions of laundry, cooking, and playing fetch with the dog, though of course I’ll miss my husband and kids like mad. The conference lectures and workshops always provide valuable advice on writing-related topics, from craft to career planning. (I bow down to the presenter who taught me last year how to write a concise synopsis.) The publisher who’s offered for my second regency has invited me to a cocktail party to meet their writers and editors. I even have an appointment to pitch to an agent. But, on a more basic level, it’s a simple joy to be around so many like-minded people: dyed-in-the-wool romantics who fret about conflict and motivation, battle writer’s block, and refer to the characters in their head as if they’re real people.
This year I’ll get to spend face time with two of my Seattle-based critique partners, and I’ll have two upcoming releases to strategize about. Who knows, I may even catch a show and try some real New York pizza while I’m at it. But I absolutely, positively have to add at least twenty pages to my work-in-progress while I’m gone. Because, you know, romances don’t write themselves.