Only a week to go!
I missed last year’s RWNZ conference, which was in Wellington, at the same hotel where the All Blacks were staying. The All Blacks + a horde of romance writers = a dynamite combination!
Sadly, I don’t think there’ll be any rugby players this year (unless the girls find their own!), but there is an amazing lineup of local and international speakers. Marie Force, James Scott Bell, and Courtney Milan are all giving workshops, along with a host of other writers and publishing industry experts. I’ll be there soaking up all the expertise and advice, and catching up with friends. I even have a glam, Mad Men-style dress and gold, bejewelled shoes to wear to the cocktail party. Fabulous shoes are de rigueur at writers’ events!
Seeing everyone get more excited as the conference draws nearer has made me think about what a determined bunch writers are. We’re all driven by the need to write, and by the sneaking, glimmering hope that we really can do this thing…and that people will read our stories, and like them. Writers have to keep the faith through weeks or months of work before they have a finished product. And if they lose faith, they keep writing anyway—because they just have to.
If you’re pursuing something creative—music, art, writing—outside validation is actually very nice. An exhibition with little red sold stickers on all your paintings. Your book optioned by a production company. Your mother/spouse/therapist finally acknowledging that your obsession is worthwhile.
But whatever the passion, we shouldn’t need to justify it. One day there may be a bestselling book, or a hit album, or a gigantic Damien Hirst-sized cheque. Or a medium-sized cheque, which is also a delightful thing! Or maybe it will just remain a satisfying pastime. But if it means anything to you, the only option is to keep going, keep creating. If there’s doubt in your mind about being good enough, just let it roll around in there, and get on with what your heart desires. After all, the only way to be better at something is to do more of it—the people we consider the most talented are also the people who put the most effort and practice into their particular skill.
In short, whether you want to be a painter, a singer, a writer, or just the best darn pom-pom maker this side of the Rockies, the secret is to do it. And by doing it, that’s what you are. A writer is someone who writes. A painter is someone who paints. A pom-pom maker is someone who makes pom-poms. In time, maybe you’ll join the ranks of successful/well-paid/award-winning pom-pom makers. But everyone starts from the beginning—and it’s only by combining persistence and practice with aptitude that successful people become so.
The RWNZ conference will be full of wonderful writers, some more famous and successful than others, but all learning, and determinedly being writers in their fabulous shoes, no matter where they are on their path. I plan to do the same!
I recently came across this video online, and they way Rosie discussed all this really resonated with me, so I wanted to share it here. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did!
And, as Rosie says…
…if you want to be something, start being it. I’ll be cheering you on! 🙂
P.S. Stay tuned for conference photos and news! If you’re on Twitter, you can keep up with what’s happening using the #RWNZ14 hashtag. And while you’re there, you can find Rosie at @, or check out her website at www.rosiemoed.com—you’ll be blown away by all the things she’s being!