September looms and with it the start of another writing year.
For the year just gone I didn't achieve all I set out to - but sometimes life throws curveballs you just don't expect. Even so, taking into account those curveballs, I am happy with what I have done. I entered 3 contests, submitted to Harlequin, completed a manuscript and started another. Not bad for a year with more ups and downs than a frog with hiccups.
What for the year ahead? The next twelve months are already shaping up to have a number of life challenges, but even so I'm determined to keep my writing steaming ahead. I may be reaching for the stars but I'm going to do my darndest to get them:
complete my wip (#1) and write a second manuscript (#2)
enter #1 in at least four Aussie contests
enter #2 in one contest
enter #1 in at least one US contest
attend conference and pitch #2
In addition, should Harlequin run SYTYCW or Mills and Boon another New Voices I'll join in.
Me in my Roaring 20's costume for the cocktail party.
Conference is over for another year, and what a weekend it was. There are so many amazing moments from the weekend it is hard to pick my favourites. From a non-writerly perspective it was so nice getting all my meals prepared and cleaned up for me, my bed made and linen washed and no-one to concern myself about except me. Definitely the icing on the cake as far as the weekend was concerned.
One of the highlights was meeting all my cyber-writing friends in the flesh - whether it was the first time or catching up again. I also met some absolutely lovely people I hadn't known before conference, but am very glad I have now. This may be part of the reason I have returned home with no voice!
My brain is swirling with all the new information I'm trying to absorb from the sessions I went to. For the first time I didn't automatically go to all the craft sessions and so have taken away from conference a lot of new information on other aspects of writing (but I did buy 4 new craft books...).
Overall, I think I loved conference because, like everyone says, it's the chance to be in a room full of people who get you.
Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
Today is the official first day of my 2011 conference experience. Yippee!!
I actually arrived in Melbourne yesterday, but today it begins. I get to register, attend my first workshop session and start to catch up with all my writing buddies who spend most of the year existing only in the cyber world.
The workshop session is "Taking the terror out of pitching" (and if you read last week's post you'll know I'm really hoping this session will prepare me for my pitch).
I've chosen not to do the Warrior Writer workshop tomorrow (motivation I don't need - more hours in the day, yes... but I don't think the workshop will provide that, lol). The decision also stems from the fact that towards the end of conference my brain starts to fry - am hoping that this will help me pace myself. I am doing the slush pile session though, and of course tomorrow night is the cocktail party (which I am looking forward to).
Then the Sat/Sun workshops (and that was a difficult choice when deciding between sessions) and of course the awards dinner Sunday night.
This is also the first year I have stayed at the conference hotel (very exciting) and I hope this will make things a little more relaxing.
Before I know it conference will be over for another year, but I intend on enjoying every moment of this one!
In 6 days I fly to Melbourne for RWAus conference where I am pitching. Even though this is my 3rd conference it will be my first official face-to-face pitch. In 2009 it was an e-pitch and last year I elected not to pitch as I had just completed 5DI (RWA's intensive 5 day mentoring program) a few weeks earlier and conference was much too close for me to be ready to pitch.
So far my experiences have been very positive. Following my pitch submission in 2009 I was asked for rewrites before getting the dreaded rejection, and in 2010 I ended up talking with an agent at the cocktail party and being given their card and a request to submit upon completion of my manuscript (so much for not pitching, lol).
But I think the reality of a formal face-to-face pitch is going to be very different. I'm going to the bonus Thursday pitching session - I'm hoping it will help to get me over the line.