I’ve been away for a while folks, but that changes today!
First, let’s talk RWA15 in New York City! My first ever RWA and the experience was exhilarating from beginning to end. I met friends I had never had an opportunity to meet in person and made new ones! My roommate, Lisa, was one of them and she was a phenomenal support through the four days for this newbie.
Let me tell you, these people at RWA…they’re no joke. The conference was mostly women, but I was pleasantly surprised to see some men there. I’ve never seen a group of more focused people in my life. Of course there were a few that used this as a chance to see the city and take a vacation, but the majority were there to work and work harder than they ever had before. They were there to connect, to learn, to grow, and to become better writers. That kind of energy is infectious and I selfishly soaked up all of it!
We hit as many lectures as we could, took advantage of every opportunity to network, build relationships, and make memories. I slept only four hours a night and amazingly didn’t drag from lack of sleep.
Pitching to agents and editors, while not always successful, I did end up with requests. I’m not sure anything will come of it, but I’m excited I took the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and go for it. I had two appointments that day, but ended up pitching seven times. Lisa, Nikki, and I opted to stay in the pitching room the entire day to scoop up every opportunity to pitch when others didn’t show up for their pitch appointments.
I thought I would be nervous, but surprisingly enough, I wasn’t. After the first, I was tearing to go back in and pitch again. Even when a writer’s worst nightmare happened and I lost the third index card with the last third of my pitch written on it.
I didn’t panic. Okay, well maybe a little. Walking into a pitch without a section of your pitch is like walking into a fine dining room with toilet paper hanging out of your skirt. Of course, I lost the card right as I was heading into my most anticipated pitch of the day. I was meeting Amanda Leuck from Spencerhill Associates. My pitch wasn’t memorized. Well, let’s be honest, most of the people going in didn’t have their pitches memorized.
So anyway, I sat down, gripped both sides of the table, looked at Amanda and said, “Bare with me, I lost the last third of my pitch, so this is going to be a rough landing.” Luckily, she laughed and didn’t hold it against me. Bonus…she requested my full, synopsis, the prologue I had cut off of the story, and she gave me an assignment, “Write a blurb for the books you envision in the series and get them all to me.”
Again, nothing may come of it, but the request had me walking on air for the rest of the day! Funny thing, when I left that pitch, I found my card. It had fallen under one of the chairs of the row in front of me out in the pitch waiting area. Maybe this experience was just what I needed to boost my confidence in my ability to handle any situation.
RWA changed me. After a couple weeks, I still feel that way. I have more focus, more drive, and more energy than ever before and I’m running with it.
When I arrived home, I put all that renewed energy into…packing. That’s right…one week after arriving home we were set to move to a new house. We had lucked out and sold our house so we are no longer tied to this area when our youngest graduates in two years. We moved into a house in the same development and while the move was long and tedious…I finally have my office!
If you want to see more pictures from RWA check out my newly designed website at www.caseyhagenauthor.com and let me know what you think! And make sure to sign my guestbook while you’re there!!