The RWA Experience

Author: Jax Cassidy // Category: , ,
I've only been in the romance writing scene since the end of 2005 after my girl friend, Kelly Gay, introduced me to this world. I had been researching online for classes and message boards that would help me with writing techniques and the romance industry. It was a strange transition from screenplays to novels and I had to basically learn the mechanics of writing all over again. I should be a little ahead of the game because my background was in journalism and communications, but nothing prepared me for what I was going to embark on. I recall bonding immediately with my business partner, Kristen Painter, when I met her online through a writing site. Soon, I found myself signed up for RWA and my local chapter the Los Angeles Romance Authors. I had missed the previous conference and it had been Kristen's first year. When she returned, she had such wonderful and inspiring details I knew I had to attend the following year.

A lot happened in between November 2005 and July 2006 for the RWA conference. For one, I had published 3-4 ebooks by that time and my first print book was in the works. I can say I'm lucky because I didn't have those experiences that first timers had where you're lost and confused and overwhelmed. You see, I had Romance Divas on my side. We had been in existence seven months and our reputation had spread, mainly because we had been named Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers on the Web three months into our launch. I think that the moment I arrived in Reno, NV, I had already known so many of the participants whom I had the honor of befriending online. Some had already attended previous conferences and some were total newbies like myself. It helped that Kristen and I roomed together and she showed me the ropes. What I discovered was that although RWA is a conference to meet other writers and get your name and face out there, it's also a professional conference that stirs your creativity. Imagine being with a few thousand other writers with the same goals as yourself. It's a phenomenal mix of people and personalities and so rich with stories. People you can relate to and share in their own struggles and successes. I had never been more inspired to write and even more excited about getting that next manuscript out. The week was a blur and in knowing that the Divas who were there became my extended family made the whole thing so much better. I can say Divas are genuine folks. They were so eager and happy to take people under their wings and guide them to workshops and events. You never felt alone or aleniated. There's a sense of family and community and even though this is now my fourth conference, the family only grows and the bond only tightens. I really believe that every writer who is serious about writing should try to attend at least once. It's so eye opening and really impacts you in the best possible way. I'm most thankful that I am able to participate in the Literacy Signing because not only is this an energizing experience, you're also helping promote reading whether its romance or mainstream fiction...YAY RWA helping to fight literacy!

6 Responses to "The RWA Experience"

Robin Says :
2:42 PM

I can't wait to see you in S.F., Jax!

Louisa Edwards Says :
8:27 AM

It's so true. The RWA national conference is always so invigorating and inspiring. I love to hear what other people are writing and how they juggle everything. It's a community unlike any other writing group, where many of the biggest stars are still happy to belong, and happy to help out the newbies. This year promises to be great, and I can't wait to see you there!

heather Says :
4:44 PM

After reading that I'm definitely going to RWA 2009. Where is it? I have to look that up.

Kelly Gay Says :
7:01 PM

Whaaaaa!! I wish I was going this year!! Make sure you post lots of pics.

Next year, though . . . We shall toast to our successes!

I believe it'll be in DC next year, Heather.

jax Says :
10:20 PM

I'm sad that a few of my friends couldn't make it this year, but I will simply party for everyone! Even the Diva Dinner has about 75 attendees! That's big!!!

Caryn Says :
12:22 AM

Okay, now I'm really excited! Only a few more days.

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