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We hope you had a great conference experience. Now get to work!

October 21, 2013


I’m tired.

I bet you are, too.

There’s a certain kind of post-conference mindset I’ve found myself in every year. Tired, but satisfied and ready to sleep for about sixteen years.

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. Work awaits today for some of us. For some of us, family or retirement (the slowest time of life-ha!) await. Either way, as much as we might like an all-day in-bed TV-and-nap day, most of us aren’t going to get it.

And that’s good. Because even if you don’t have Work to do, you have work to do.

Sixty people were included in the FWA Collection #5 this year. Dozens more were honored with Royal Palm Literary Awards Saturday night. Untold others received requests for partial or full manuscripts. If you weren’t one of those people, the only thing standing between you and those accomplishments is hard. freakin. work.

If you were one of those people, there’s no such thing as just staying where you are. You either move forward or fall back. There is no standing pat.

If you attended the entire conference, you may have spent more than $600 on your craft. That’s enough to buy a relatively powerful laptop, a clearance-priced Prada clutch, or a keg refrigerator (complete with keg). It’s a lot of money.

And now, today is the first day of your post-conference life. It’s the first day you start reaping the value of that laptop, handbag, or keg fridge (or whatever else) was sacrificed for your craft. It’s time to put that money to work.

You already know the theme for next year’s Collection (first steps). You know the stories tend to be about 1200 words long. You know that we’ll have a Royal Palm Literary Awards ceremony next year, and though the details vary from year to year, the broad strokes stay the same. You already know there will be agents and publishers at the conference.

In short, you know what you need to do. Depending on what it is, you have between six months and year to do it.

So thanks for coming. We loved having you. We hoped you had a great experience.

Now quit screwing around and plant your butt in a chair and get to work.

  1. October 21, 2013 8:20 am

    This year the Florida Writers Association billed their conference as “The Greatest Conference on Earth” Did it live up to the billing? For me it did. We presented the first annual Youth Writers one day conference on the 19th and I was blown away by the talent of the young writers that attended. I was overwhelmed by the new support the Youth Writers Program received and the number of new volunteers we gained —-Hope you didn’t miss it.

    • October 21, 2013 11:41 am

      Yes, those kids are awesome. We all better get to work now, because in 6 or 8 years we are going to be facing some stiff competition from that crew. 😀

  2. Diane Boilard permalink
    October 21, 2013 10:33 am

    Hi Chris,

    It was a great conference and the photo of the little girl sleeping describes many of us this morning, but as you said we need to get to work. Times is passing by… Diane

  3. October 21, 2013 11:24 am

    Oh yes. I can SO relate to the photo you used! I slept in till eight (well, tried to) this morning, got up, went to the gym, and now my butt is in the chair! It’s time to work. I was so inspired this year. Being a volunteer was a part of that inspiration. Being involved in the FWAY group inspires me all year and to see it in fruition was wonderful. To be a true part of the workings of the conference, to feel a part of a “family” of other writers was a gift. One I will cherish. Mary Burton’s workshop did so much for igniting my engine that I can’t wait to put her ideas to work and see how they move me along. I feel so very blessed to have attended this year, even more than last year. So, I can’t wait to see what next year brings. And I am going to contribute this year to the anthology and submit for the RPLA. Who knows what might happen?

  4. October 21, 2013 11:55 am

    I had a wonderful time at the conference. It’s such a wonderful feeling to get hugs from old friends and shake hands with new friends. Making connections is the best thing about the conference for me. I enjoyed talking to new members and new conference attendees. Getting their perspective of our organization is without a doubt the best way to learn how FWA is doing. From my informal poll, FWA is doing AWESOME. Congratulations to everyone who worked on the 2013 conference. You did an outstanding job. Thank you.

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