Thursday, July 10, 2008

Musing about conference preparation, and some thoughts about being professional

Okay, so we’re down to just under three weeks until conference time. It's a big deal for me, professionally, and personally. In one sense I feel my preparations are well in hand. Mostly it’s my head I need to organise. :) My timetable (which I’m seeing as my anchor,) is almost all done, but it’s busting at the seams. It's making me feel dizzy just looking at it! It's not quite a finished work, either. I’m waiting for the last couple of editor appointments to slot in and then I need to find time to squeeze in meetings with pals and with local friends who aren’t coming to the conference itself. I might need a crowbar for that.

At first I could keep it in my head, what I'd be doing during those 4/5 days of conference time. Then I had to start writing it down. After a while I realised I needed to put things onto a timetable. That helped me put it into perspective, even if I did feel a schoolgirl again. :) It was fine. And then…well, it seems to have exploded in all directions this past week. It now looks like some sort of speed dating schedule. And I have a big, (major, as in regrettable,) clash. Wah! I want to go to both parties. :o{

It also feels pretty alien. My usual schedule is writing, real life stuff, and occasional social engagements. I’m exchanging that for five days of continuous social engagements and business meetings. Will she survive, you ask yourself? Well, I used to do mad Goth and fetish weekends, lots of gigs and rock festivals, but not so much recently. Ah, well. I’ll give it my best shot, and I'll report back.

Meanwhile, I’m slowly getting used to the idea that I'm going to be a Spice author. Ha. I hadn’t really got used to being a Spice Briefs author! ;) It’s going to take the rest of this year for me to take it all in, tbh. I've spent so much time learning, striving, and keeping goals on the horizon, that when some of it actually happens for me I simply can’t take it in.

One thing I do when I have some big career news is to contact and thank the people who’ve been important to me along the way. Those friends who have encouraged me, the editors and publishers who have published my work and enabled me to take a step up and strive for longer projects and gain new contracts. When I share the good news, I’m so often touched by the things they say, the good wishes, and especially when they add that I am so easy to work, and that is serving me well.

Easy to work with? Yes, it is something I strive for, but that's because I believe it’s a fundamental tenet of being a professional, no matter what industry a person is working in. I’m always amazed when I hear tales of authors being unprofessional, or cases where ego gets the better of good judgment. It’s just as important to be polite and easy to work with in this industry as in any other.

Huh. Incredibly, while I was writing this post, yet another RWA event was flagged up that I really want to be at. This one isn’t quite so much of a clash, but it does demand a big reshuffle of plans and arrangements. My head hurts! :o)


Portia Da Costa said...

You are a gracious and lovely person and a total professional. Editors must find you an absolute delight to work with.

And I know what you mean about the RWA scheduling. It's making my head spin! But I'm sure we'll survive and love every single minute of it. :)

Aw, that baby hippo is so *cute*!!!!

Kristina Wright said...

You are going to have a blast at the conference! I am soooo wishing I was going this year, but I can't wait for all the gossip and reports to start rolling in. :) Do be sure to leave some free time in your schedule-- go hang out in the hotel bar one night, it's where all the good stuff happens. :)

Congrats on being a Spice author and have a fabulous time in SF! Hope to see you next year in DC!