Approximately four years ago, I went to my very first conference: RWA Atlanta. Nothing like starting with a bang, am I right? I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, dreaming about everything this career could possibly bring. I knew exactly one person—Jeanette, who’d been by my side for many years prior and from that point on became my permanent conference wife.
I was overwhelmed in an amazing way, learning so many new things and meeting so many new people, including the Bad Girlz. Writing can be incredibly solitary. The majority of my work is done at home, by myself, with Twitter or Facebook as my only companions. But to see so many fellow writers all in the same place was extraordinary. Meeting people who not only shared this crazy dream of mine, but were doing everything in their power to actually make that dream come true? It felt like I found my tribe.
The Bad Girlz took me into the fold and laughed with me, danced with me, drank with me. They gave me conferences tips, supported me as I pitched for the very first time, and told me I did not look stupid in that tutu for the Harlequin party. They acted as if we’d been friends for years instead of days, and it made that nerve-racking time a little less so.
As fate would have it, by the time this posts, I’ll be on my way to RWA once again. A lot has changed since that first conference—for me, as well as the rest of the Bad Girlz. We’ve pitched and queried and gotten agents and book deals. We’ve seen those books in the hands of readers and on bookshelves. We’ve made this dream come true.
I’ve been to half a dozen conferences since that first one. I no longer need pitching help or conference tips, and I will rock my annual tutu for the Harlequin party without reservation. I will also squeeze many of the Bad Girlz before laughing and dancing and drinking with them, which will be a fantastic way for us to send this blog off in style.
Bad Girlz Write has been an awesome place to share writing tips, commiserate with the roller coaster ride that is publishing, and to convene with like-minded individuals. But it’s also been a solid foundation for friendships that go far beyond the confines of badgirlzwrite.com. And I know that even when we close the doors on this blog, those will continue on for many years to come.