I’m at the annual Romance Writers of America national conference (aka RWA Nationals or just Nationals), surrounded by smart, creative, savvy, engaging, vibrant, funny, wonderful women. I was hit with some negativity in my life recently, and this is like a refreshing, energizing dive into a woodland pool that’s almost shockingly cold—bringing me back to center, sluicing away the bad stuff, and waking me up to the good.
Over the past couple of days, I found myself resisting coming here. (It was never a question, since I’d already paid for it, committed to sharing a room, etc.) It wasn’t logical; it was emotional. Ken’s going to be gone for most of August, and I just don’t want to be away from him right now. Plus I’ve been in a bit of a writing slump, thanks to the above-mentioned negativity but also, I’m coming to realize, that I really haven’t completely recovered from the emotional battering of the past couple years (the trifecta of my father’s death, my sister’s aneurysm, and Ken’s accident and my attendant primary-caregiver status, along with the added pain and stress of my own hand injury last December). I always think I’m better before I really am, and I’m surprised to discover I’m wrong. I’m much, much better, don’t get me wrong—I just forget that it’s a process, and there are always slides backwards, even if they’re small and the forward motion is bigger.
Anyway. I rode down here with the utterly wonderful Kim—which is, in fact, one of the things I really was looking forward to, because she’s funny and a bundle of positive energy, and I never get the time to just sit and talk with her. We had a blast. Then I hit my room and hugged my awesome friend Christine and met our roomies Sarah and Roz, both of whom I adored within minutes, and Kim and Tanya stopped by, and there was wine and conversation until far too late.
I’ve been to two workshops today, but the third was so crowded that I opted to take a break and do a little work in the room. Next is a luncheon, followed by another workshop, and then I’m taking the rest of the afternoon off. Sarah and I are going to work out, and then a bunch of us will grab dinner, and then who knows what mischief we’ll get into.
One of the workshops this morning made the conference worth the price of admission. It was about how productivity isn’t a matter of time management, but of energy management. So much of it resonated with me, like this simple exercise: Close your eyes, focus on your body, and think five times, “I have to write.” Did you tense up? Now do the same thing, except think “I get to write!” You’ll have an entirely different physical, emotional, and spiritual reaction. Duh. (I’m saying “duh” to me, because, well, that should’ve been obvious…)
[Hm…it’s now after the conference and I don’t remember what else I was going to write here, so I think I’ll just post this and move on! :-) ]