RWA 11: Conference Envy

June 24, 2011

It was bound to happen. The closer we get to this year’s Romance Writers of America conference, the more jealous I become. The tweets about sessions, dresses, shoes, about meeting up for lunch, hanging out in hotel rooms and hitting the town as a group.

*Sigh* But not me. I’ve never been to a conference. The biggest reason? I hate to fly.

Once upon a time I had a very cushy job as a writer for Disney. I worked at home but traveled to Chicago and Los Angeles when business required. And when business required, I was known to use every excuse in the book to avoid getting on those planes.

Now that I’m no longer working for Disney, I don’t have a reason to fly. (Okay, spring training is in Florida every year. That’s a reason to fly. But while my husband flies, if the kids and I go, we drive. Days. And vacation—no matter the distance—we drive that too. Yes, I see how ridiculous that is. Yes, I know how safe air travel is compared to driving countless highway miles. Still, knowing all that doesn’t do a damn thing for my anxiety.)

You might think attending the biggest conference of the year is enough reason for me to fly (or drive—it’s not terribly far), but it’s not because…

I don’t really know anybody. I have these visions of being alone in a big city, scanning conference rooms desperate for a friendly face. More anxiety. (And yes, I know how ridiculous that is, because I know from this blog and twitter how wonderfully welcoming fellow romance writers can be.) I also worry that I’ll say something stupid to an influential person and ruin my career before I’ve even started. (And yes, I’m pretty sure that’s a ridiculous excuse too.)

I told myself that next year if either my CP or Tari goes, then I’m going, but I know Tari’s going—it’s in her neck of the woods, which means a cross-country flight for me. So guess what? I’m not going next year either.

So I pout, and I sit here filled with envy for all the ladies braver than me. (And yes, I know how ridiculous that is, because I created this misery.)

Are you going to RWA 11?


5 Responses to “RWA 11: Conference Envy”

  1. nicolehelm Says:

    I feel the same way! Not about flying, but about meeting new people without anyone I know around. Terrified of it. I tell myself the main reason I am not going is because of money, but really it’s because I can’t imagine going somewhere where I don’t know anybody (no matter how nice the strangers are). Nightmare! So, I just sit around having conference envy thinking maybe someday I’ll have the cash and guts to do it.

  2. Tari Says:

    Okay….I am going next year because it IS down the street from me, but I will plan on picking you up at Union Station (train station) the day before the conference starts…..or sooner so we get some time to spend together…..Nicole you’re welcome too….then we all know somebody there….no excuses, the train is fun and you can read and write the whole way here!!!

    See you next year…..

    • Okay. Confession time. Part of the plane issue is I’m a control freak, so the train gives me the same sort of feeling, because I’m not “in charge.” And the most pathetic excuse of all…earthquakes scare me. (Yeah. Try using that excuse on a conference call with collegues who live and work in North Hollywood. They weren’t very sympathetic. More like rolling their eyes at pathetic me who obviously needs to worry more about her therapy schedule than her travel itinerary.)


      • nicolehelm Says:

        Elley, we were in California last summer & went to a Padres game & there was an earthquake! Not an experience I want to repeat. (It was a little one, the players weren’t even phased, but I was ready to come home.)

        I think I’ll have to wait for a more midwestern conference, lol. One of these years… 😉

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