In approximately ten days, two thousand romance writers will travel to Orlando, Florida for the RWA National convention in hopes of learning more about the craft and industry, networking, and or gaining an editor or agent’s attention. Many seasoned authors have blogged or added posts on their websites advising first time attendees of what to expect at the huge event, what to wear and what they need to bring, such as business cards, but I’ve yet seen a post telling them about the most important element--confidence.

Confidence is defined as the quality or state of being certain. As you walk among the other attendees, be certain that you are a writer too, even if you’ve yet to publish. If you have put words to page, you are a writer. If you have a burning desire to learn the craft, you are a writer.

Hold your head high. Be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge you can. The conference has an amazing list of speakers from which you will learn tons. Focus on workshops that target your weaknesses and remember the only question that is stupid is the one not asked.

Don’t be afraid to talk to people, including editors and agents. They’re people too and they like to talk about other things besides books, which is their work. We all know there is more to life than work. Make a connection.

Smile. Be yourself. I’m sure you already have a boat load of friends. Attending a conference is an opportunity to make more. I’m truly grateful for the hundreds of friends RWA has provided me.

Have fun. Yes, attending a conference is considered work, it's tax deductable, but who says work can’t be fun.

Now repeat after me. I AM A WRITER who can learn more about my craft. I AM A WRITER who always has room for another friend. I AM A WRITER who will pitch with confidence!

HAVE FUN,
AJ

20 comments

  1. Bev Pettersen // July 16, 2010 at 7:56 AM  

    Perfect! Thanks, Autumn, for the timely reminder. Not too much longer now, can't wait:)

  2. Lu // July 16, 2010 at 8:05 AM  

    Great advice, Autumn. My first release will be out next week, and I still have trouble believing I'm a writer. I'll be in Orlando and I can't wait to soak up all that knowledge and good writerly vibes.

  3. Judy // July 16, 2010 at 8:36 AM  

    Wonderful post, Autumn... A great reminder

  4. rita // July 16, 2010 at 8:45 AM  

    Honestly i'm trying not to think about too much. I get sooo excited it takes forever to calm down.

  5. Autumn Jordon // July 16, 2010 at 8:55 AM  

    I wish, I was going to be going, Bev. I'm pouting. The dog is giving me the evil eye.

    Enjoy. Take lot's of pictures. And kick A#@.

    Sniff, sniff

  6. Autumn Jordon // July 16, 2010 at 8:57 AM  

    Congrats on the new releae, LU, and, girl, believe it. YOU ARE A WRITER.

    Enjoy the conference and think of me.

  7. Autumn Jordon // July 16, 2010 at 8:58 AM  

    Thanks, Judy. You're going, right? Or are you heading to see that new grandbaby? Congrats again.

  8. Autumn Jordon // July 16, 2010 at 9:01 AM  

    LOL, Rita. I know. I'm a little excited too. I'll be thinking of all my sisters the entire week and reading every post over and over.

    Please say you plan on attending NY next year.

  9. Nightingale // July 16, 2010 at 1:42 PM  

    Good advice, Autumn. Wish I were going. Have fun and make tons of connections!!

  10. Autumn Jordon // July 16, 2010 at 1:54 PM  

    Not me, Linda. ;>( I'm staying home and waiting for anyone to report in and post pictures.

  11. Mary Ricksen // July 16, 2010 at 2:07 PM  

    I hope you all have a good time. I am so jealous that I can't go.
    Knock em dead. MM sell one of your wonderful books! Mona have fun when you can. Lu good luck!
    Everyone have a blast! And tell us all about it. Me and Linda will get into the teletransporter and join you. Autumn, Beth wanna come? Anyone else for crashing if we could? Patrice? We'll sneak in. Barbara, Dayana, Scarlet, Toni, Joanne, Judy, Jianne, any of you going?
    Well anyways, I hope it rocks for you guys who get to go!

  12. Jill James // July 16, 2010 at 2:18 PM  

    Confidence in yourself and your writing. Remember, you deserve to be there.

  13. Autumn Jordon // July 16, 2010 at 3:05 PM  

    Beam to Orlando, Mary. I'm in. What a wonderful thought. SIGH

  14. Autumn Jordon // July 16, 2010 at 3:05 PM  

    You said it, Jill. thnaks for stopping the PFS. It's good to see you.

  15. Jianne Carlo // July 16, 2010 at 4:07 PM  

    I wish I was going too! I'm going to be at my godddaughter's wedding in Trinidad.

    And my book, A Paratrooper in a Pear Tree, is a finalisht in the Passionate Plume contest! The winner will be announced at the Passionate Ink party on the Thursday of the contest. I don't expect to win (there are 5 other exceptional finalists), but it would have been nice to be there!

    Enjoy everyone, I'll try to do a post from Trinidad!

    Cheers,

    Jianne

  16. Mona Risk // July 16, 2010 at 4:12 PM  

    I am...I am not...I think I am a WRITER who need to trust herself and talk with confidence. Who much are you selling that stuff for???

  17. Autumn Jordon // July 16, 2010 at 10:09 PM  

    Jianne, Have a great time at the wedding. And good luck in the contest.

  18. Autumn Jordon // July 16, 2010 at 10:10 PM  

    Mona, You're a damn fine writer. You've proven it. Who are you kidding?

  19. Mary Marvella // July 17, 2010 at 12:42 AM  

    Excellent advice. Fake confidence 'til you feel it!

    I love meeting folks and visiting. Can't wait to see more of my Fuzzies!

  20. Joanne // July 20, 2010 at 4:18 PM  

    Autumn,
    Great advice. I am not attending Nationals this year, either, and I'm already missing it.