Writer’s conferences: A surefire way of getting your mojo back

What a weekend!

The New Jersey Romance Writer’s Conference, (NJRW) was inspiring, enlightening and fun! Special shout outs to the people who made it all happen–the NJRW Conference Committee.

Guest speakers and presenters, Sabrina Jeffries, Heather Graham, Susan Wiggs and husband and wife team, Jim and Nikoo McGoldrick were all superb.

Major props to the Violet Femmes for having great items in the “goodie” room, including a chance to win a Nook! Also a special shout out to authors JGavinAllan and R.A. DeFranco (sorry I missed you!) hope you had a blast!

I learned and re-learned so much. I plan to share it all throughout the next couple of weeks. My takeaways from the conference were monumental and I left with an entirely different perspective and a renewed sense of determination.

The major takeaway is that I got my mojo back!

I’ve been in a writing slump lately. But all it took was some rethinking and readjusting my life a little, and the NJRW conference to kick me in the butt. I’m feeling good about the changes. They were small, easy to do, and they’re going to help immensely as I start to crack down and get back to writing.

My goal for next year’s conference is to pitch at least two books. So, I’m on a mission. With a few minor changes, I know I can do it. Here’s a few of handy tips if you find you need to get your mojo back:

1. Get organized
My office was a mess! No joke. Papers and files everywhere. Various filing cabinets from one end to the other. So, I purchased this nice six-cubicle shelf from Target with the fabric pockets to go inside. In one pocket I have all my pens and highlighters, in another my stationary and post its, and one is designated for my camera and other technical stuff I don’t want to damage.

Oh, and on the lower shelf is my special pocket for my “Sims” games. (My love affair with this game is a whole other blog!) My daughter and I put it together in less than an hour and I feel so much better about my space.

2. Accommodate your loved ones so they won’t feel neglected.
It’s easier to put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door or say, to family, “I’m writing, see you in a bit.” But what about pets? They don’t get it.

One of my problems was trying to adjust to having a dog. My Poe. 🙂 Love him a bunch, but he’s time-consuming. In the beginning, my efforts to get him on a schedule, meals, walks, play time, were interfering with my writing. And I hadn’t figured out how to make it work.

Until now.

Since, we’re both acclimated to one another, and he’s completely house trained, I thought that I could allow him up in my writing space. This way he won’t feel neglected and I’ll get my writing done. (Usually, I’m upstairs and he’s downstairs as he wasn’t quite ready to explore the house without an accident or two)

So, I took all my junk (books, post its, character charts) off chair I have in the office and put them away. Now he can come up and lay on the chaise and still feel like he’s not being neglected.

3. Carve out time and stick to it.
This is important. Now that Poe is on a schedule of sorts, I can get my writing done in a more structured manner. I used to write early mornings around 3 am or 4 am. But since Poe, my schedule has changed. So, I will write after dinner from 7:00 to about 10:00 every night. On the weekends, I will write 16 hours minimum, and still leave time for family events and me.

4. Stay energized: eat healthy,get your exercise whenever possible. You’re sitting in front of the computer most of the time. You need to move around, even if it’s for a walk. I had my treadmill moved upstairs closer to my office. This way, I can get some walking in, in between scenes or chapters that are giving me a hard time. Walking always helps to loosen the creative knots.

I can’t tell you how accomplished I feel just doing those few things over the weekend. My mojo is back and I’m ready to write and roll!


TGIF: Two days of sex, passion and books …

This weekend the New Jersey Romance Writer’s Conference, (NJRW) whose theme is “Unleash Your Passion,” happens and I’ll be there.

I’m looking forward to the lineup of guest speakers and presenters, which includes best-selling authors Sabrina Jeffries, Heather Graham, Susan Wiggs and husband and wife team, Jim and Nikoo McGoldrick.

There will workshops for writers at all levels, some include:

  • Using POV to create emotionally powerful scenes
  • The Core of Romance
  • Women’s Fiction: Hitting the Genre’s Sweet Spot (see, told you there’d be sex!)
  • E-pub, Self-publishing, Marketing and Selling the book and the Future of Publishing for the Writer

There are also editor/agent appointments for those pitching their books, a Literary Book Fair, where authors sign their books for their fans, and most of all, networking opportunities.

I’m not pitching a book this year. However, I will be handing out business cards (which ALL authors should have–yet to be published and published) and networking. I’ve met some of the most fantastic people at these types of conferences, not only as supporters of my work, but as friends.

The NJRW conference will also have a professional photographer on site to take studio and environmental portraits. Need a new head shot for your book or Web site? Say cheese!

While I’m there, I’m going to take a trip to Barnes and Noble, which is only 10 minutes from the conference location. There are a couple of new books I want to pick up.

    I find J.K Rowlings’ adult book,“The Casual Vacancy”very intriguing. It’s also on Nook, so I will be making my e-book purchase!

    Ken Follett’s,“Winter of the World” (part of the Century Trilogy), which is on Nook as well! Yippee!

    Actor and Director Penny Marshall’s, book “My mother was Nuts,” looks hysterical.

    I couldn’t buy books without including a Romance novel. “Return to Willow Lake,” by Susan Wiggs, one of the conference speakers, is on my list to buy. It’s on NOOK as well. However, I may purchase this at the conference, so that I can get Susan to sign it! Perfect timing!

By the way, the authors signing at the Literary Book Fair donate a portion of their proceeds to literacy. Nice, huh?

I’m taking a bag large enough to transport all my new books—those I plan to buy and those I don’t!

Have a great weekend. See you Monday.