I apologize for being late. I blame the RWA conference! And now I’m behind on everything. I have copy edits sitting on my desk that I haven’t even opened yet. But I wanted to get this blog written before I open that envelope.
So let’s talk about the RWA Conference!
First off, I had a great time. I met tons of new people and that was fascinating, and I now have a new rule:
If you are unpublished, DO NOT APOLOGIZE FOR IT! I still love to hear what you are writing! People are interesting whether or not they are published. Two of my critique-partners are unpublished and I very much value their input. Being published is a goal but it doesn’t define us.
When do you apologize? Well for me, it was when I spilled coffee on my friend’s lovely purse. That was a bright shining moment for me, sigh.
Okay, let’s move on. I’m can’t possibly talk about the entire conference or I’ll have a twenty page blog! I’m going to just go with two quotes that really stood out for me at the conference. (And this will be a little bit of a ramble—I’m still tired!) The first quote is from the agent Steven Axelrod:
“If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.”
YES! Failure hurts and it’s scary as hell, but if it works, the payoff is amazing. Few people will rise to the top by staying safe and writing the same book over and over. Some will, of course, because there are always exceptions. But generally, if you aren’t taking risks, you aren’t trying hard enough. I loved this quote. He also said that failure is part of the business, and it is. Take risks!
The second quote came from Claire Zion of NAL Publishing:
“Work of mouth remains the engine of success in this business.”
The question and answer part of the NAL Spotlight became a bit of a chat, discussing electronic readers versus traditional paperbacks, and what readers will spend their dollars on in the shrinking economy. Many people repeatedly said, in one way or another, they will “risk” their money on books they’ve heard about. They trust friends first, but “hearing” also includes the Internet, and specifically, blogs. It was nice to get some specific ways to feed that “engine of success.”
There was so much more at the conference! I met with my new editor, who is as lovely in person as she is on the phone and e-mail. I went to parties, I hung out with friends, and I learned so much. Last night, I was in the Jacuzzi with my husband, chatting on and on about the conference, and it dawned on me that I was just as excited about my friend’s conference goals as I was about my goals. I want my friends to succeed! With all of RWA’s problems, that is one common theme I saw everywhere. Friends supporting and encouraging one another on their paths to their dreams.
How cool is that?