By the time this post goes live, the Romance Writers of Australia’s 23rd annual conference will be about to kick off the core section of the program. By now, some of our members will have taken part in the Professional Development Day for published authors and the Literacy High Tea raising money for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation on the Thursday. Most of us will have taken part in the Friday Workshop presented by James Scott Bell, and the Leather and Lace themed cocktail party.
And all this before the core conference starts! The core conference is full of useful workshops, inspiring keynote speakers and entertaining and informative plenary sessions. Not to mention the glittery Awards dinner and after party.
The entire weekend (plus!) is exhausting – my brain fills up and ideas start to come out of my ears. Quite often, many valuable insights don’t register fully until weeks later, when I’ve had time to go back over my notes and process everything. But there is always at least one lightbulb moment that changes the way I think about things or the way I do things.
This will be my 4th conference. The 1st time was scary and overwhelming to start with – I only knew our group face to face. I came away from that conference with a swag of new friends. And each subsequent year, I reunite with my tribe and meet new friends. Most of us only see each other every 12 months so conference is a big noisy, reunion – did I mention noisy?! Imagine 350 romance writers – mostly women – in one room all talking at once 🙂 And laughing, and hugging. *Lots* of talking, laughing and hugging. Which for an introvert like me can be a shock to the system!
But it’s the highlight of my year and as I’m writing this, with 4 more sleeps to go, I’m a bundle of nervous energy and excitement.
Soon, I’ll be with people who understand me!