Okay, I'm kind of an obsessive person. I also tend to overplan, as both Kristie J and Barbara have discovered, so you can bet that a week after the 2009 RWA National Conference in Washington, D.C. I'm already looking at the website for the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee where the 2010 RWA National Conference will be held.
The rooms are cheaper, and I mean cheaper, than the Washington Marriott's rates - and those rates were RWA discounted. Plus, now that I've met all my awesome blogger and writer friends in person, finding a roommate shouldn't be the scary proposition it was this year. A little voice in my head is already saying "Go again! Go again!" But - but - but .... I have tuition for Library school to consider (should I be accepted). I have the general price of airfare to consider. I have 12 months of time in between with all the crazy accidents of fate that are bound to happen to consider. WHY AM I THINKING ABOUT THIS NOW?
Because I don't want this only to be about going to Nationals. I want this also to be about my writing. About setting a deadline, improving my discipline, and nurturing the proper attitude for a writer who finishes her work on time and is willing to pitch and market the everlovin' shit out of it. So I'm creating a Nashville Resolution - a list of things I want to accomplish or improve about myself to truly earn a trip to Nashville to experience the RWA National Conference again. Are all of my resolutions realistic? No. But I ought to aim high. I might never end up going to the 2010 RWA National Conference, but even if I don't (or can't), the idea of going again might help me to become a better writer ... and prepare me for the 2011 RWA National Conference (see you there, Barbara??).
1. During the Year Leading to Nashville, I will either have made my First Sale (so that I get the pretty ribbon!) or have a Finished Manuscript.
And by "finished manuscript" I mean second, third, fourth, fifth-drafted, polished, critiqued, edited. It has to be shiny. It has to be done. It has to be ready to Pitch. It has to have a Pitch, a Hook, a Query Letter, a High Concept of 25 words or less. In two days, I finished the prologue for the second draft of my novel, so that's a start!
2. During the Year Leading to Nashville, I will not buy a Motherlovin' amount of books and will Save My Money.
Not buying any books at all isn't realistic - but I have to be a writer first, a reader second. Thank God I stocked up this year's RWA!
3. During the Year Leading to Nashville, I will participate in my RWA Special Interest Chapters, Network with other Authors/Bloggers, and Join a Critique Group
I'm an anti-social person at heart - I love talking (and talking and talking and talking) to people when they're in front of me but I am really lax in keeping up correspondences, especially in e-mails. So I'm keeping every one of the business cards I got at RWA Nationals and try to keep up correspondences with as many people as possible. It's good to have a network - you never know how you could help someone else or how someone else could help you. And I really need to participate in my chapters - I only lurked at first because I didn't feel I had much to contribute since I hadn't finished my manuscript yet, but now that I've met so many members in person I know that's hooey.
4. During the Year Leading to Nashville, I will budget for Shipping Costs
Nashville is a hell of a lot farther from my town than Washington DC. Poor UPS. Poor TBR.
5. During the Year Leading to Nashville, I will Apply for the University of Alberta School for Library and Information Sciences
I'm working at a movie rental place right now, and while I'm passionate about film and the free movies are nice, it's not a stable job and it's not a career. There's a determined and loud part of my brain that says, "I don't want any career but a writing career! I want to write for a living!" but I have to realize that realistically the point where I can make a decent and regular living writing novels is a long way off - too far off to consider working at a rental place until I make it. I need another job that I like just as much but will pay the bills in a regular fashion as I write.
I thought about applying for the SLIS years ago but I chickened out because I had the wrong idea about what librarians did (loving books isn't the #1 requirement) and when I found out otherwise (it involves information management, cataloguing, archiving) I got spooked and thought it would be dead boring and/or beyond my skills. But I was wrong again. I had a great experience working as a Materials Processing Assistant at my University's library. Also, talking to other librarians (and especially Wendy the Superlibrarian) there are many directions you can go in as a librarian - if you don't like monotony and want to face new challenges every day, you can become a public librarian; if you love YA and children's books and want to create programming to encourage children to read, you can become a children's or a young adult librarian; if you're a masochist and love making something from less than nothing, you can become a school librarian; on the other hand, if you love monotony and are shy about dealing with people but love to organize and have an attention to detail, you can become an archivist or a cataloguer. So it's an open field and there's lots to choose from when I apply. But the deadline is February so I have months and months to do more research.
So this is My Nashville Resolution. Here's hoping.