Sad because you're going to be home washing your tights like "Batman" in one of the 214 Batman movies???
Dismayed because all the BEST EDITORS AND AGENTS will no doubt be swallowed-up by dashingly darling newbies while you're home slogging away on your laptop in front of a fan with a frayed cord?
YOU ARE RIGHT WHERE YOU NEED TO BE.
I promise you, I've been where you are, I've been where the rest are going, and if you're serious about your writing career, your productivity, your chance to hitch a ride on the westbound train of publication??? Do not overly fret about being home...
YOU ARE RIGHT WHERE YOU NEED TO BE.
How do I know this? Well, because I'm right here with you, and happy to be here because anything major that comes up in life.... Illness, death, divorce, taxes, holidays, kids' schedules, parents' health, jobs, lack of money, two jobs!!!!! (raise your hand if like me, you've had to work two jobs to make ends meet!!!), etc. tends to put me behind the 8-ball if I'm not ahead of the game. And so...
YOU ARE RIGHT WHERE YOU NEED TO BE.
I love seeing folks at conferences. And I know that when you're new and aspiring there's a lure that says "This is where you need to be... Yes, it's expensive, but it's your career we're talking about!"
Return on investment is a measure of what are you getting out of what you're putting in? What's your return?
Now, this isn't meant to disparage conferences, they're fun, they're exciting, and there's a bang for your buck, but should you go into debt to go to a conference?
I'll let you answer that.
Does going away for a week affect your productivity?
Is it worth it sometimes?
Again: Yes. But that's where good money stewards examine their choices, pull up their big kid panties and make wise assessments. So if you (like me) have decided that life, work, finances, family, etc. have closed the door on conferences this year, THAT'S OKAY!!!!!!
You know what? There's nothin' at all wrong with spending that time devoted to WORKING HARD. You wanna feel better about bein' a wallflower with me?
Here's a quick list of things we can do while the crews gather in San Antonio (GORGEOUS!!!) and St. Louis this fall (I LOVE THAT ARCH!!!):
1. Raise your word count each day, double it. That will make you feel like you've really accomplished something.
2. Update your website/blog/facebook page, anything you've been putting off, do it that week! Now you're feeling ahead of the game!
3. Do your homework and decide which editor/publisher/agent you're targeting, then polish your proposal for them until it shines like a new copper penny... Okay, pennies don't shine like all that much anymore, so make it shine like the... like the.... Oh, hang it, just polish it up, okay?????
4. Order three books from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Christianbook.com that will either inspire you or teach you how to improve your timing, your skills, your work ethic or your salsa dancing. (Hey, writers need to stay in shape, right????? Me and Bruno Mars, baby!!!!)
5. If you don't know who Bruno Mars is, you should. Go HERE!!!!!
6. Take yourself for ice cream or a pedicure or a walk with the dog and get a hot dog or bagel from the street vendors... Because it's good to use the famous Ruthy-Mini-Reward-System to get you through the thoughts of the cool people at the HARLEQUIN PARTY.... (sigh.... I do love the Harlequin party... dancing... Eating.... dancing.... Eating.... ) :)
Mmm... Abbott's Frozen Custard... that reminds me, I must go see if they've listed
today's flavors on FACEBOOK!!!!!
7. Edit your work, this takes us back to smoothing that proposal. Examine the arc of the story, the flow of the words. Don't be afraid to Cut, Cut, Cut... and then paste back together. Layering is part of storytelling, my darlings!!!!
8. Push yourself through to the END.... I don't care if you're bored 2/3 of the way through, or if you've got dishes to wash, or if you've really got to weed the gardens because the house looks like the setting for a horror movie... Push yourself each day, 1,000 words, maybe 2,000 words, closing in on that magical ENDING.... To say you did it. You finished a book. Just finishing puts you instantly into a very small minority of writers... And I'll be so stinkin' proud of you!!!!! I WILL HAPPY DANCE IN UPSTATE FOR YOU!!!!
9. You know, I love people. I'm not an introvert, I love getting together with folks, I love teaching, talking (DUH....Right?????) and working with others. I'm a people person. But I also love being ahead of the curve when it comes to my work... and I often look 3 and 6 months ahead to estimate where I need to be vs. where I want to be... and that planning ahead attitude helps me realistically see what I need to do and where I need to be.
10. Accept that we're all different. We're meant to be that way, God's got a fun mix and we're part of it! And if you are going to conferences, report back to us wallflowers and tell us all about it! We want to hear details!!!! But if you're sittin' home, tending the home fires like me (or the day job in this case!) know that you're not alone. That of the tens of thousands of authors/writers out there, only a small fraction of them will be at conferences, so we've got company, coast to coast!
11. GET YOUR PROPOSAL INTO THE EDITOR/AGENT BEFORE THE POST-CONFERENCE RUSH....
12. That one bears repeating: GET YOUR PROPOSAL INTO THE EDITOR/AGENT BEFORE THE POST-CONFERENCE RUSH...
And come to Seekerville!!!! We'll be here each day (I'm reporting into Seekerville from Manhattan a couple of those days, COME ON, YANKEES!!!!)
Oh. Jeter. Smile..... :)
And we'll be holding down the fort for all o' youse who are doing the homebody thing that week... And honestly, I'm okay with that. We can share ideas, ice cream, stories, (there will be a NO WHINING ALLOWED sign that goes into effect that week, and youse know I'm not one bit afraid to CALL YOU ON IT....
(polishes nails on shirt because she's rough and tough!!!!)
AND... to make this more fun and a little less bossy ... what's that??? Too late, you say???? MY BAD!!!!
Okay, I've got 15 (FIFTEEN) copies of "His Montana Sweetheart" to give away to lucky commentors today! AND.... I'm caught up on all my contracts so you won't have to wait as long as the last winners did...
Book 2 of the Big Sky Centennial Continuity is being released in mid-July, but you can WIN IT BEFORE YOU CAN BUY IT!!!!
Romantic Times gave it a lovely 4-Star review, and this cute couple have dealt with a lot of mistakes, past and present... But with God's precious love, a smack-upside-the-head of common sense and a spritz of down home cowboy...
Oh, mylanta!!!! SO FUN!!!!
Coffee's on.... and I've got fresh strawberries-and-cream croissants for youse!!!! A delightful nod to summer and berries and cute guys on horseback.... ISN'T HE JUST THE CUTEST THING????
Come on in, and let's plan what your stay-at-home goals are... and if you're not staying at home, then tell me what your conference goals are!!! AND HAVE FUN WITH SEEKERS AT THE CONFERENCE....
San Antonio, the River Walk, the music, the lights, the food.... oh be still my heart! Cowboys and great food, I might be tempted to book a flight after all! :)