Friday, July 13, 2007

Speed Dating at RWA Nationals

(Photos included, keep reading:-) )

Why do you go to a writer's conference? Excellent workshops, learning about publishers, and editor/agent appointments. What if you went to serve others instead of be served?

This morning I had a wonderful appointment with an editor. What made it wonderful? We just enjoyed getting to know each other. It takes all the pressure off when you don't feel like you have to speed date. Technically, that's what you could call it when you have a timed ten minute appointment. Why not take ten minutes to be real, kind, and communicate on a human level.

Last year I stressed out over trying to get the pitch across in the miniscule time frame. This year I decided to be less pushy and to care more about the other person. I felt much better serving the other person than taking from them. I enjoyed the experience of simply getting to know the agents/editors in my appointments. I felt more confident because I was just there to make a friend. It's really more about how you relate to each other. There will never be the ability to get your story across in a poof. However, think about the way you meet and grow a friendship. It starts with the simplicity of being interested in the other person, loving them more than yourself. Go to listen. When you are listening, you will easily be able to answer questions that come from a natural conversation. Try it and see what you think next time.

Cynthia DiTiberio from Avon Inspire (seated) and Lori Copeland, Avon Inspire author talk about inspirational fiction.

The Spotlight on Hachette Book Group and all their imprints: 5 Spot, Faith Words, Center Street, Forever, Vision, and Grand Central Publishing. They have a new imprint coming up for the Latina market called Solana.

Natasha Kern held a workshop on when and how to contract for six figures. But she really did a great job helping us understand what makes a great agent.

Steeple Hill authors and editors posed for a great photo opp today after the Spotlight on their publishing house.

Today was a busy day of all these workshops. I also had a bunch of great conversation while creating new relationships with people I really liked. If I could encourage anyone coming to a writing conference like RWA, I'd say to realize that building long term friendships is a huge part of this business. Relax, consider the other person's needs as an opportunity to serve, and chat. You'll be surprised at how that calms your heart and creates a completely different experience.

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