I went to my first Romance Writers of America meeting yesterday. I'm not a member, I went as a guest. I can have two guest visits a year without paying the membership but it was still 30.00 bucks for me to get in. Nice people. They had a speaker, an agent from New York talked about how to write a query that is professional and then once she signs you on, what is expected from her to help you sell.
One of the things she mentioned really hit home. She said when you have a contract with a publisher, you have to make yourself write. You owe them your books, or at least a manuscript for them to turn down. You are now a business and you must conduct yourself as one. She pounded on the table to emphasize, This is a dream, people! You, who are published have won the dream and now the work really begins! No kidding.
I missed her beginning, but she had a great sense of humor. She used this analogy about writers being the ship and she is the wind. Said it about three times and then at the end of her talk, she happened to turn around and saw all these paintings of ships behind her. She started to laugh, and said "Oh my god, I just realized there are ships behind me!"
Members all had this white plastic badge with their names on it, so newbies stood out with that "Hi, my name is" stick and peal tag on. These heads of San Diego's chapter went around and talked to people, getting their names and chatting. This woman asked me if I was a writer or a dreamer who never wrote anything and was here to get a push. I told her that I just published my first novel and was here to get info on what to do with it now.
She congratulated me and then asked how long I had struggled to get it into print. I know the struggle she was referring to, just not with this book. When I told her that, she made a face and moved on. I have to admit, it felt good to be the subject of envy of such a coveted prize as having a book published.
I took what she said about making sure you have another book to follow up on to heart and will be writing all day today. I watched TV last night, so tonight I have to write. I have set the goal of September for myself as well to have the first draft fully written.