Seven things I learned at the RWA Conference

Allison Tait blog
Posted on August 19, 2010

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 on how to write a romance novel.

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 worth the price of admission.


  1. Seraphim

    No time to comment
    I’m finishing the damn book x

  2. Gill@OurParklife

    yep, finish the damn book!

    great post….i have such a vivid picture in my mind after your desciptions of this conference

    oh and i have popped over to kidspot to vote for you xo

  3. Alex Brooks

    Finishing the book is so the most annoying thing … it’s much nicer to be the writer that’s already finished the book

  4. Deer Baby

    Great sheet of points. Finish the damn book seems to be the over-riding message. Ahem. So have you?

  5. Lucy

    So, is Celeste getting pulled from her hiding place?

  6. PlanningQueen

    Great points. Will look forward to see your finished book!

  7. MomAgain@40

    Great list! The thing is to DO it! 😀
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am following you now!

  8. Olive

    Ive not even started the darn book so there is no way I will finish it. Thank You for your visit yesterday and comment oh and your follow. I’m off to vote now. Have a blessed weekend

  9. MultipleMum

    Love a good list post. Seven reasons why I will never be a Romance Writer!

  10. Maxabella

    In my case “start the darm book” would be more appropriate.

    You will be “the one”, trust me.

  11. Fradaz

    Finish, finish, finish!!!! Must keep telling myself that is all that matters. I think life is like that in most areas and the challenge is to ‘see it through’! Happy writing.

  12. Kath

    I love that your first and last points are “Finish the damn book.” That is about it really, isn’t it? Because without doing that, the rest is all just padding and filling.

    Sounds like you had a great time at the conference and I’m glad the boa was a hit!

    (And yes, I voted for you, too.)

  13. Michelle

    ohh forgot to say I have voted.

  14. Michelle

    Ok, I got the message – finish the darn book! lol Stop writing the blog then and off you go and we will see you again when it is done! or maybe not as easy as that… Good luck at getting it finished. Mich x

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