The feathers on my boa may be limp now, but the dust has settled enough from the weekend conference for me to distill what I learned into a nice little cheat sheet for you.
I could have done 10 points, or 20 points, or 50 points, but what I learned from writing cover lines on women’s magazines is that your eye barely registers those numbers anymore. Why do you think Oprah has 517 things you need for spring? Because your eye sees ‘517’ and your mind thinks ‘are you serious?’.
So here they are. The seven things I learned at the Romance Writers’ Australia Conference.
1. Finish the damn book.
2. Publishing throughout the world is depressed – except in the romance sector.
3. You can work for 18 years on manuscript after manuscript before finally cracking a sale. And you’ll still be excited when you get there.
4. If there are 20 writers in a room and an expert tells them that only one of them will ever achieve their dream of being a published author, every single one of those writers will assume that they’re the ‘one’.
5. The only way to be a writer is to write. Blogging, tweeting, networking, attending conferences, going to workshops, etcetera etcetera etcetera are all good things – but they will not finish a book.
6. Nobody ever talks about the money. Not really.
7. Finish the damn book.
If you get the chance to attend one day – and you have any interest in writing romance or women’s fiction – I suggest you drag out your waftiest frock and get there. They’re an incredibly supportive bunch and it’s a huge amount of fun. If you can’t get there, join the association – the newsletters are a worth the price of admission.
PS: If you’re really keen to write happy endings, visit eharlequin.com and enter the New Voices competition. What have you got to lose?
PPS: All this excellent information deserves some love, don’t you think? Don’t forget to vote for me in Kidspot Top 50 Bloggers – click the button on the right to vote. A holiday on Dunk Island would make a great happy ending.