Back from conference. It was great. Awesome. I loved being there and meeting everyone and in the end, was sad to leave so I decided that this week, I would talk about the things I learned at the RWA conference.
1. When going to the Literacy signing, it will be packed. People will be jostling you everywhere because there will be NO room to walk. At all. No personal bubble allowed. Lining up, you will want to get there early. We arrived early but there was still a line up that’d already gone all the way down one hall. You’ll want to bring a bag for your books. Although I only bought 4, a bag was still useful and after almost tripping and falling, the bag a random woman gave me was much appreciated (thanks to whoever you were!)
2. Expect line-ups for food in the morning at the little shop down below to have at least 50 other women waiting at 8am.
3. When meeting other divas, pouncing and screaming is sometimes appropriate, if not expected. Although I wasn’t a pouncer, more of a stay in my quiet corner nibbling on my chicken and fries, it was amusing to watch everyone and meet them. I honestly, wasn’t sure what I expected, but it wasn’t the immediate bond that was felt. I -knew- these people, these awesome writers and friends. But I didn’t know it’d be so easy to meet them.
4. Really, there is no time to see the city. I wanted to see the Smithsonian and whatnot but the moment thursday started, it was go-go-go from the get go. On the drive to karaoke, you may see China town… and that was interesting in itself, seeing Subway, for instance, spelled out in Chinese letters.
5. No matter how much I packed, I still didn’t have enough tops. I ended up buying one shirt from the gift shop to wear on the drive back. Kai also was great and washed one of my shirts, thus allowing me to wear it saturday.
6. When there are drag queens dancing with the crowd, sometimes, they go right up to your face and get in thus personal bubble. Ok, I kept back. I’ll admit it.
8. My friendly termed ‘hooker boots’ lasted about 4 hours before my feet started to hurt and I had to sit down. I think 6 hours or so in them is enough in any sitting.
9. Authors at their signings were awesome. I had some fangirl moments (Cherry Adair, Jim Butcher, etc). I didn’t exepect them to be all personable. I mean Cherry Adair took time to talk to the ppl in her line about what they were writing and to tell them to email her when they were done with their book. A few others said similar things.
11. The workshops, while soooooooo interesting, the rooms were cooold so bring a sweater. And a good thing, is that the workshops were taped. Therefore, that gave more options, especially when book signings went on at the same time or when there were parties involved.
12. From what I’m hearing, you can go up and ask an editor/agent if you can pitch your idea to them. I didn’t. I don’t have the guts for that. I know they are there also to acquire new authors but it surprised me at how many ppl received requests from going up to an agent.
13. Agents/editors aren’t all that scary. Ok, they are, in the ‘we hold sway over what happens to you’ kind of way, but they are there to find new writers as well. I worried about my pitch all week. I rewrote 10 times. I had panic attacks. What it came down to, was that the moment I sat in front of him, I didn’t use what I’d written. I told him about my story and went on from there and eventually forgot what was going on. (The room btw, was huge, one room with like 20 tables with the agent/editor behind. No one pays attention to you because they are too worried about their own pitch to think about how you are doing).
And bonus 14: You will need to take breaks. It’s a given. So take them. Don’t put pressure on yourself to try and get everything done because you know what? It’s not possible. I thought I could, thought I wanted to, but there are only so many things you can do and unless you can clone yourself, you won’t be able to be everywhere. I’m not a bar person, but next time, I think I will hang out there a bit more to see everyone more. Be more social.