Look out world – here I come!
Ain’t Love Grand was the best conference I’ve ever been to.
“Why?” I hear you ask.
I’ve been to conferences before – quite a few of them – I’ve even presented at some. History, Heritage, Architecture, Sustainability, Management – even Fossils. And there have been many with outstanding speakers, good networking, lots to learn and lots to think about. But for me, the recent RWAus conference was far more than just enlightening. It was transformational.
I felt I changed on so many levels. Of course I learnt plenty of new info about writing and publishing. I also met lots of great people – and I think that’s where the transformation really set in. Because I’ve been a ‘closet novelist’ for years – have sat at home writing away, crafting stories, finishing books, self-publishing a few of them, building networks online and learning about the writing craft and the fraught world of publishing and marketing books, finding readers, etc, etc…. And have felt overwhelmed and alone, at times. Started to lose momentum and wonder whether I could continue existing as a writer in a parallel world that wasn’t really a reality… And then – BAM! – I meet dozens of other writers who are just like me, and suddenly it all becomes real.
So, some of the key things I learnt from attending the conference: –
- I am not alone. (That’s very reassuring.)
- Other writers are generous and inspiring – I already knew that, mostly, but now I really believe it
- Anything is possible, and you won’t know if you don’t try
- Writing is hard work and you need to treat it like a job. Take yourself seriously and give yourself permission to write.
- Don’t be ashamed of writing love stories – Love makes the world go round.
- And so much more that I’m going to need a few more blog posts to express it.
So now I am officially ‘OUT’ as a romance writer. I will tell any of my colleagues at work who are interested, and any of my friends and family. I will set myself writing goals and work towards them with gusto. I have made myself an electronic Calendar dedicated to all the work I need to do as ‘Emily Arden’. I am making this real, and I will succeed.
Stay tuned for some more posts on what I learnt from the conference, and may you achieve your dreams, or at least, always feel empowered to chase them.