Last weekend, I attended the Wisconsin Romance Writer’s bi-annual conference. Held in Milwaukee (this year), I left the Chicago suburbs on Thursday afternoon and returned Sunday late morning.
I’ve been to several romance writing conferences (both National and local). I had an idea of what to expect. Every experience has been a chance to learn from workshops, network with authors, pitch to editors and/or agents, and hang out with writing friends.
I signed up for an all-day intensive class on storytelling with Lisa Cron, author of Story Genius and Wired for Story. I feel like I am looking at my work (projects in draft form, ideas for future novels, and works in progress) with fresh eyes. Filling the pages of a notebook as she spoke, Lisa’s words resonated. As she walked us through a process to really ignite how to tell a story, she helped me stitch together a lot of disparate ideas and theories I’ve studied.
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend a class led by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi about emotional wounds. Later in the afternoon, Lisa taught another class about scenes. Both of these workshops built off each other and the class on Friday. For the first time ever, during one of the classes, I was successful at following along with an exercise.
This never happens. I usually need to keep thinking for a while to really digest what the instructors are looking for. But the instantaneous processing and understanding of an exercise really lit a fire in me. Since coming home, I have started a deep dive into a project that I know will strengthen the complete novel. I’m excited to put the different techniques into my craft.
I feel re-energized to finish the (very full) slate of projects on my desk and get these novels polished and published. Of course, like always, I had a wonderful time chatting with other authors. Photos of my weekend are up on my Instagram feed, click here. I was delighted to meet fellow Wild Rose Press Sweetheart Rose author, Laurie Winter. Any time spent with my Chicago North chapter mates is a great time.
Can’t wait for Chicago Spring Fling 2020. If you’re on the fence about coming, say yes. Take the time to invest in yourself and your career. I have never regretted a conference and am grateful to be part of a local RWA chapter so I don’t have to wait a full year for the opportunity to learn, connect, and grow. More about Chicago North, click here.