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Thursday, June 23, 2011

7 Ways to Spend RWA Nationals Week if You're Not Going to the Conference

So you're not going to RWA Nationals? Me either.

All around me, people are gearing up for the big conference. They're talking about it on writing loops, Facebook, and Twitter. They're debating what to pack, what to wear, discussing when they're arriving, who they'll be meeting up with in the bar, what sessions they'll be attending.

And I can't help but think about all the things I'll miss out on while they're gone and I'm stuck at home.

But I know I'm not alone! There are plenty of others in the romance writing community who will be stuck at home while our cohorts are busy in NYC, taking in all that the RWA National Conference has to offer. So today, I want to focus on what we will be doing while they are sitting in Publisher Spotlights and attending the Rita/GH awards.

Here are X things for the rest of us to do while they're in NYC.

1. Write. (Okay, maybe I'll be revising,and some of us might be in editing mode, but still...) I'll be hard at work on my book, getting in much needed time to pound out those words.

2. Read. This is a perfect time to make a dent in the ever-present TBR pile. I have a few picked out already that I'm dying to dive into.

3. Spend time with family. I don't know about you, but lately, I have been so busy with all of my writing-related activities that I think I've neglected my family more than I should have. So...I'll be taking the Nephew Monster to a movie, and doing a dinner date with Mom and my sisters.

4. Check in through social media with conference attendees to glean what they've learned. I don't know about you, but I follow an awful lot of people who are headed to the conference on Twitter, and I'm friends with them on Facebook. It never fails that many of them will post the occasional tidbit, sharing fabulous new information from a session or a spotlight. I'll be on the lookout for it!

5. Study a new craft book. I've almost always got one sitting around that I'm planning to get to, but haven't yet. This time, while the rest of the romance writing world will converge on NYC, is the perfect time to immerse myself in writing craft and see what I can pick up. They're all going to come back full to bursting with their new information. There's no reason I shouldn't be able to do the same from the comfort of my own home.

6. Relax. You and I don't have to worry about what to wear to the awards banquet. We don't have to plan out a massive schedule so that we can be sure we have two minutes to spend with everyone on our lists. We don't have to debate whether this spotlight would be more beneficial to our career than that session. We can breathe.

7. Plan for a way to attend next year's conference. The time to start planning, at least for me, is now. No, I'm not already trying to book flights or anything like that. I'm figuring out how to work the expenses into my budget. I want to be sure that next year, I can take part in all the festivities I'll be missing out on this year.

If you're not attending the conference, how are you planning to spend those days?


  1. Entertaining inlaws while my oldest plays in his All-Star baseball tournament.

    Hopefully, finalizing edits to get a story ready for submission.

    Trying to limit my twitter/facebook followings because everyone will be having fun and I can only live vicariously through them.

    See movies and entertain kids who are out from school and have more energy than a herd of hyenas.

  2. Catherine! We are so going to miss you next week. I promise to Tweet often (though I'm not sure what you'll get from me other than gossip from the bar.)

  3. Sounds like you'll have a busy week, Beth! God luck with your edits and have fun with the movies and kids.

    Ava, I'll miss all of you, too. The tweets from the bar are the ones I'll be looking forward to the most. LOL.

  4. Excellent ideas. I was so envious last year of everyone being there, and thought I'd make it this year. *sniffle* But there is plenty of writing to do, so I'll work on that instead. :)

  5. If I wasn't going to NY, I'd be doing the usual: working, cleaning house, cooking, and revising to meet my next deadline. I'm so glad I'm able to go. I need a vacation!

  6. We'll miss you, Catherine! But I'll be Tweeting and FBing, too…no doubt from the bar with Ava. LOL.

  7. A group of us who aren't going this year will be hitting up a bar on July 1st for drinks and appetizers - sort of a mini-celebration for those RITA and Golden Heart winners, lol.

    I loved the idea of diving into a new craft book, though - maybe I can convince my gals that we should all bring a nugget of writing wisdom from a new craft book? Hey - thanks for that!

  8. I'm fully embracing #1. Two WIPs in the works. If you think of it as a race (for next week only) then we get to pull ahead of all the attendees. It's a rationalization, but I'll take it.

    Been to the last three and plan to do all I can to get back next year. Writer friend of mine has promised to take me to Disneyland!

  9. Donna, I've been envious every year since I started writing. I'm bound and determined that one of these years, I'll get there.

    I need a vacation too, Samantha. That'll be the following weekend. We're having a family reunion. :)

    Jerrica, have a drink for me at the bar with Ava! LOL.

    Christine, I love the idea of getting together with other non-attendees to toast the Rita and GH winners. That's an awesome idea.

    And Terri, I'm all about rationalizing. LOL. That was how I put it in my head. I'm getting work done that they're not. I haven't been to Disney in way too long! Might have to plan a trip sometime in the not too distant future.

  10. I hear that. Didn't have the funds to go this year and most likely won't be there next year lol Yes, I really am a starving writer lol So, it'll be writing for me.

  11. LOL, Sandi...talking to you on Twitter the other day is what gave me this idea for the blog. I knew there had to be others with us.

  12. Catherine! I am deep in edits atm, I've just finished my new cover for Wrong Kind of Paradise and this week I plan to just write on my new story which I am finally getting excited about. I have six days off and I can't wait to get caught up on my to do list. I can't wait to keep up with you all through twitter -- especially Ava's bar posts LOL. Those will be the absolute best. =D Great blog and will see you on twitter!!!