Emotional Support

By Ottilia Scherschel

I recently attended the Romance Writers of America’s annual conference in San Diego, California. Those of you who attend industry events already know they involve both stimulating and exhausting days of listening, talking, sitting, and walking. They offer a veritable overload of the senses and are a physical stress test. As if all that weren’t enough, add to it emotional ups and downs.

The primary goal of any writer is to provide an emotional experience for her reader. At conference, I was on the receiving end of the emotional ride. I realized during workshops I attended that many presenters had a genuine desire to share their knowledge, so my days at the keyboard would be easier and my learning curve as a writer less steep. I sensed a contagious emotional high among the participants, a can do attitude, and a belief in their own successful futures.

My most significant emotional moment came on the night I had dinner with my critique group. I recognized how much they cared about my achieving writing success and how genuinely willing they were to help me reach my goals. These things are sometimes hard to remember in the heat of a critiquing session. Validation, emotional support, and friendship filled our evening, topped off with a few glasses of wine.

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My critique group with Michael Hague at RWA ’16. 

In the end, I was reminded of one of Winston Churchill’s remarks I have adapted: “If you are going through (writing) hell, keep going.” Why? Because you have a community of romance writers out there who will help you on your road to publication.

I look forward to next year’s RWA Conference for the same reinforcement I received this year. See you all at RWA ’17.

 

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