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Wednesday, July 25, 2012
8:39 AM | Posted by Marnee Bailey | | Edit Post
I doubt I’m the only person out there who wishes that they were at Nationals today but instead, they’re doing dishes/making their bed/grocery shopping (insert normal, mundane activity here).
Instead of being at Nationals, chatting with awesome, like-minded writers, I’m here with my two kiddos, surfing the internet for updates, watching Facebook for pics, and frantically refreshing the #RWA12 hashtag on Twitter, all in an attempt to not miss anything.
I’m going to miss things. Chances are I’m missing most of it but the highlights.
Which is a giant bummer.
I’ve been writing seriously for five years now and I’ve never been to Nationals. There are lots of reasons why and most of them are related to my family. Some of them are financial. Whatever the reason, I haven’t been able to go.
And that's okay. In honesty, the chances I’d have gone any of these years were actually quite small. I can’t imagine leaving my kids that long. I'm a bit sappy like that. If I’d actually signed a contract or finalled in the contest, I’d have probably taken the fam with me. That way they’d be there too so I could see them, I wouldn't have had to worry about them, and I’d have had the incentive to make the financial outlay to take them.
I have no idea how I’ll feel about it next year, but that’s how I’ve felt until now. And logically I know that’s fine.
The problem is, every year at Nationals time I watch all of this—Facebook, Twitter, Blogs—and I feel like I’m not a serious writer because I’m not there, at Nationals, with all of those serious writers.
I know that’s silly. Going to conference isn’t what makes them serious writers (not taken alone, anyway) and me not going doesn’t make me less serious. I’m sure there are plenty of published writers who didn’t go to conference before they published and I’m sure there are plenty of published writers who still don’t go to conference regularly.
But I can’t help feeling like that kid with his face pressed against the toy store window, staring at the promise of fun inside.
I’ll go. Not this year but maybe next year. Or the year after. I know it’ll be back in New York in a few years and that’s so close I’d be silly not to go. Just because it isn't this year doesn't mean it's never.
What I need to remember is that just because I’m not there physically, it doesn’t mean I’m not “there.” I’m rooting for Terri and Mary Danielson and Wendy La Capra like mad right here. I’m listening for the gossip and the publishing news. As part of RWA, it’s my conference too, even if I’m not there in person.
And I need to keep writing. Because that’s the underlying theme of the conference anyway.
Those of you who aren’t going to Nationals… How are you taking being “left behind?” Any great online conferences or places you’re stalking for updates? And if you are at Nationals, I hope you guys are having fun! Keep us posted because we’re all waiting for your updates! J