Friday, July 19, 2013

The RWA National Meeting on  Extrovert-ism
(and 6 hours of Sleep)

 As I write this it is just edging past midnight on Thursday (morning) of RWA 2013. I’ve been here in Atlanta since 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning and, truth to tell, I have very little recollection of packing to leave home or the trip to Georgia. All I can say is, it’s a good thing I’m a night owl, extroverted, and run on the energy I gather from people during the day because this has been a truly interesting start to a conference!

The run up to this trip really began three and a half weeks ago when I got edits for my second book back from my editor and a deadline of July 15.
Since my brain is getting older by the day, it took me a week of editing to realize this was going to take me right up until I had to pack for the conference. So, I planned my editing schedule to finish a day early. I did well on this plan until the last week, when the wheels might not have come OFF the bus, but one of the tires went very flat. 
Suffice it to say, that due to a couple of family issue and some previously scheduled obligations, I watched the sun come up on Monday morning the 15th after a full night session of giving my manuscript a final read-through. I watched the sun come up, took a three hour nap and then finished the last of the work. I did get brownie points for meeting my deadline. But I didn’t have a stitch of anything packed for Atlanta.

So, good thing I’m a night owl, extroverted professional procrastinator.
I’m used to pulling projects together last minute. I started hauling things out of my closet, matching folded clothing items by color to make outfits and plopping them into a suitcase hoping against hope I’d remember most of what I needed.
I got bags packed and plants watered and dog brought to my son’s house for dog-sitting...and fans running in the basement (oh, yeah—hubby is at Boy Scout camp this week and the basement flooded a day before deadline J ).
I spent the night at my parents’ home so I could be at the airport at 5:15 a.m.
As I said, there’s very little recollection of packing. Or sleeping. Or getting to the airport! But, I must have done all that, because I did arrive safely and it’s been an amazing two days so far.
What’s my point in all this? It’s that no matter how insane the lead-up to RWA, how many necklaces that match earrings you forget (that would be three) and how many half-pairs of earrings you bring (that would be two) or how little sleep you get (that would be eight hours in three nights) it is so very worth it to be at this meeting.

Granted, I wouldn’t recommend this prep routine for a first time conference go-er, but this is my sixth time and there’s little to get my undies in a bunch about anymore.
I am just thrilled to meet up with some old friends, to be making new ones and to just sit in the wide open bar area and watch the writers chatting, laughing, joining up and hugging.
The energy is full-on; inspiration just plain floats through the air, and I already want to head home and just start writing my little fingers off.
Can you tell I enjoy coming to this? This is our professional organization in all its glory. There are controversies and there are opinions about things but, mostly, there are kindred spirits. And that’s the real reason I come. My life would hardly be ruined if I didn’t come, but it would certainly be missing a little spark that comes with hooking up with the mother ship once in a while.  It really is a cool place to be—even if I only managed to bring one of those favorite swirly dangling earrings with me – dang it!
 Next year’s RWA is in San Antonio. If you’ve never come to the meeting or only come once in a while, I hope you get the chance soon.
 There are spots waiting for us in the bar. J
--- Liz Selvig



DeNise said...

Liz, I miss you-Have fun and yes, plan to see me in San Antonio.

Tam Linsey said...

Ah, our lovely Liz is at it again :) Glad to have the update on your conference! Hope to see you sometime soon!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Glad you're having fun at the conference!