Twisted Ankles, Tree Frogs, & Timelines: On The Road to Atlanta #RWA13

Bridge in Woods 123RFThis year I have time. Lots of it. So I decided to drive to #RWA13 in Atlanta, Georgia, from the D.C. area. Yay! An eleven-hour trip split into three days and two overnight stays. Nice. Alone. Did I mention I’m driving alone? LOL. Yes. I had several people look at me in horror when I say that . . . yes, indeed, I’m driving alone. It’s an introvert’s dream. Three days of quiet before I enter the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta to meet and greet 2,000 of my closest friends. Well, not really. But, still. They’re my tribe. They talk like me. They think like me. They write stories about love and relationships, just like me. And even though I love these women, I’m an introvert and this huge conference sucks mega-energy from me. So this year, I’m fueling up my emotional tank before I arrive. Smart, right?

Yes. I think so. And I still think so on my second overnight stay in lovely Lake Hartwell, South Carolina–only two hours from Atlanta. So how’s it going? Hmmm. Here’s what I’ve learned on the road to Atlanta so far . . . and really it does apply to writing & Indie publishing, too. I promise.

Determination is Key

Well, the day before I embarked on this great quest for peace and quiet before the on-going party that is RWA, I sprained my ankle playing volleyball at a family picnic. I rolled my ankle so badly on Saturday that I could barely put weight on it. But because I played sports in high school and college, I knew I needed to ice it, take ibuprofen, and make sure I continued to walk on it–keep it limber. The pain you often feel is because of the stiffening. So I pushed through. Used my prior knowledge of sprained ankles and worked with it. Today I’m walking fine. It doesn’t hurt. However, I do have a fat ankle. Sigh. Oh, well. Can’t have everything, I guess. Point 1: If you’re going to succeed in the publishing industry, you need to push ahead with determination. Use your prior experience and knowledge, but will power will take you a long way in your journey, even when you take a hit.

Nerve is a Must

This morning I shared my shower with a tree frog. Yes, a tree frog.Tree Frog 123RF Did I mention I’m camping? LOL. I turned on the hot water at the shower–yes, an indoor shower–and climbed in, only to find a tiny tree frog up in the right-hand corner staring at me. He tried to get further away. He didn’t go far enough in my opinion. So I kept one eye on him and he kept one eye on me as I took a quick five-minute shower. I think my husband would be okay with me sharing the shower with this fellow. I hope! LOL. Point 2: With writing, Indie publishing, and in publishing in general, you will be afraid. There’s no doubt about it. Things will pop up that surprise you and scare you. Stand your ground. Keep an eye on the situation. Don’t let it scare you away. Act only and when you need to take action. ;0)

Attitude is Everything

Final lesson from this morning. I wanted to leave Natural Bridge, Virginia, by seven o’clock a.m. I packed my belongings, folded my bedding, stowed everything in the car. Then I drove to the camp office to return my cabin key. The hours posted on the office said it didn’t open until eight-thirty. Ugh. Didn’t these people know I had a time schedule? A timeline I wanted to keep? I had a seven hour drive ahead of me. No. They didn’t. So I drove back to my cabin, turned the AC back on, and meditated. Then I sat on the front porch swing and listened to the birds and watched the squirrels. I watched sleepy people in their PJs stumble off to the showers/bathrooms. Finally, at eight o’clock, I watched a little golf cart pull up to the office. Yay! A staff member to open the office. I jumped in my car and raced over there to return the key and hit the road. Point 3: Life is short. Not everyone has your agenda or schedule. Sometimes we need to slow down and enjoy the journey. There’s no use getting mad about situations out of your control. The only thing you can control is your response and your attitude. When I finally dropped off the key, I talked amiably with the staff worker and we discussed a solution to the before-hours key drop/return deposit. I became a creditable voice who contributed to the solution–not part of the problem.

Anyway, these are the lessons I’ve learned so far on the road to Atlanta. Tomorrow I’ll check in at the Marriott Marquis and go from one workshop to luncheon to pitches to dinner to party and so on and so on. I’ll network. I’ll take an interest in people and I’ll learn lots and lots about publishing and writing. By the end, I will be exhausted, even though I took my days to fill up my emotional tank beforehand. However, this way, I’m going in charged up. Besides, I’ll have two days to recharge again before I get home. Yeehaw!

Hope to see you in Atlanta. I’ll be giving away free copies of To Have & To Hold on July 18th between 3:00 and 4:15pm at the Indie Book Signing & Giveaway. See the details under Events on my website. Please stop by and say hi!