0 In Writer's Life

A Willing Addict (Originally Published 8/2/2012)

freeimage-6618013I fell in love last week.

Now, in order to avoid a dance with divorce court, I should probably clarify; I fell in love with an industry, not a person.   (Sorry, honey.  You know how I love drama.)

I mentioned in my last blog that I was headed out for my first RWA National Convention.  Being a manager of software applications during the daylight (and sometimes nighttime) hours, I’ve been to my fair share of conferences.  Those shindigs have helped me hone a fine-tuned, mantra:  “Get in and Get out.  Otherwise, make no eye contact.”

Sounds pretty cutthroat, I know.  Deep down I’m a closet introvert that pretends to be an extrovert.  But that’s not the main reason for my established conference mindset.  The real basis:  Outside of the software in question, attendees usually have nothing in common.  That fact alone makes conversation painful.  Very painful.

Last week’s RWA Conference shook my world.  I loved it!  I loved the look of it, the smell of it, the sound of it…heck, I wanted to roll around in it until I was covered in it.  (Picture my dog, wallowing in his favorite patch of grass immediately after his bath and you’ll get the idea.)

Being the type to analyze just about everything, I started to drill down and ask myself, “what, exactly, was the ‘it’ that made me gaga?”

Well, for starters, I was surrounded by bright, happy women who said it was completely natural that I hear voices in my head.   In fact, they taught me all manner of ways in which to use said voices to my advantage outside of writing.  (i.e. “Honey, I’m sorry I didn’t get the kids bathed and in bed early tonight.  Lexi—my current heroine—is having a really bad day and needed some time to talk things through.  That’s what friends are for, right?”)

You’d think the women I met would have been competitive despite their outward friendliness, right?  Wrong.  Big, big wrong.  There were only a limited number of times available for up and coming authors like myself to pitch their stories.  I’d expected something along the lines of guerilla warfare.  Instead, I saw women step forward for a variety of reasons and offer up their pitching times to others who were waiting.

Such supportiveness wasn’t restricted to the editor/agent appointments either.  There was an extremely successful agent floating around at a few of the events that I hadn’t quite managed to work the nerve up to approach despite how much I’d love to have him as my agent.  I mentioned to some new friends how I’d seen the man and had waffled at walking up and introducing myself.  Shortly after that, I saw the agent again while we were all leaving the hotel restaurant.  Those amazing women stood there with me for forty-five minutes while I waited until the agent was available.  Not so they could jump in with a pitch of their own, but to cheer me on.  Unbelievable!

Then there were all the “fun, new toys”.  Workshops that talked about craft, career, marketing, etc.  As I sat there, listening to every tidbit the presenters doled out, I was reminded of Kresley Cole’s Valkyrie characters in her Immortals After Dark series.   They’re always mesmerized by shiny objects.  I’ve decided… I have a recessive Valkyrie gene.

So, you can see, I’ve pushed this around in my head a lot since I got home and, I think I’ve finally summed up what the ‘it’ was for me.  Magic.  Pure, loving, creative magic.  I’m addicted.

To those of you that cheered me on and held my hand at the conference, thank you.  To those of you who’ve listened to my endless gushing since I got home, God bless you.  I hope this dependency I’ve developed for the magical world of storytelling lasts a very, very long time.

If there’s a cure, I don’t want one.

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