As most of you know, the RWA National Convention is coming up. I had a fabulous time at Nationals in Reno last year and learned a lot, and the thought of going to this year’s conference has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Living on the West Coast though, it’s a big expense to travel all the way to Atlanta, esp. since I am unpubbed and unagented. So while I didn’t want to commit to going or not, I made a decision that I wouldn’t spend the money on Nationals this year unless 1) I finaled in the GH, or 2) I won a conference registration. Well, I didn’t final in the GH, but I did win the conference registration through the Romancing the Tome contest in February.
Now, at first, I was really psyched about going to Nationals. I’ve been looking forward to this year’s National Convention in Atlanta for several reasons: 1) it’s just such a cool conference, 2) my cousin lives in Atlanta and I’m excited for an excuse to go see her, 3) Linda‘s in Georgia and part of me is hoping if she’s not going to the conference, maybe I can talk her into driving up for dinner or something, and 4) networking, networking, and more networking. However, now I’m just not so sure if I’m going to go.
Last year we had nearly twenty people from our chapter attend Nationals. It was close and cheap and a lot of people who probably wouldn’t have gone from our area did. We had a great time. I saw people all over that I knew. Always had someone to pal around with in the evenings and someone to sit with during lunch and dinner. This year, no one from my chapter is going, so if I go, I’m really not going to know anyone. Sure, I know names from online loops and websites, but no one personally. In addition, I don’t have a roommate, and I can’t see spending the money for a single room (they’re more expensive than they were last year.) Money isn’t really the issue. I won my registration, and my mother’s offered to buy my airline ticket (because she thinks the whole reason I’m hedging about going is money-related, which it isn’t.) But the thought of putting my name out there for a roommate makes me feel a little odd (anyone see Single White Female???). Not sure I want to do that.
The real reason I’m hedging is because the conference is overwhelming. It was overwhelming to me last year and I wasn’t alone. This year I think I might be way overwhelmed, esp. with no one to chat with and let off steam with about the whole experience. I know several of you find this hard to believe (knowing my snarky personality) but when I’m in a new situation, surrounded by people I don’t know, I can be really shy. Esp. in a group full of women (and we all know how women can be.)
But here’s the thing. Do you believe things happen for a reason? Do you believe in signs? I can’t explain it, but I feel like there’s a reason I won that registration – when I’ve never won anything before in my life – and a reason I’m supposed to go to the conference. I don’t know if it’s writing related or not. And in the back of my head this little voice is telling me I’m nuts. There is no reason. It’s just a coincidence. If I go, I’ll feel foolish. But if I don’t go, I have a feeling I’m going to regret it.
So someone tell me what to do. I’m very indecisive at this point. I need to make a decision within the next two weeks. PRO agent/editor appt sign-ups are mid-May and if I’m going to go, I need to have registered before then. There’s no guarantee I’ll even get an appointment, but if I go, I’d like one.
What do you think????