So this year will be my 2nd RWA National Conference. For those of you who remember last year’s freak out, it was kind of a BFD (big F(**ng deal) for me to go from soldier to girly girl. I didn’t know what to wear. I had major shoe trauma. I didn’t know if anyone was going to talk to me or if I’d end up sitting in my room waiting to be invited out to play. Add in a healthy dose of crowd anxiety and yeah, it could have been a disaster.

Instead, I had a blast. I made new friends and got to hang out with some of my favorite people on the planet. And I learned my way around conference when I had no idea what I was doing. I don’t pretend in any way shape or form to be an expert on the Conference Experience. But, I’ve done some prep work already and the prepping will continue until, well, I get on the plane to arrive a day late (but hey, at least I’m going).

If this is your first year at RWA conference, let me tell you, you are in for a great time. If you’re online at all, you need only follow the twitter hashtag #rwa11 to catch up, find new people to follow, and generally start picking up on the excitement.

Prep Work So Far

I have clothes. I haven’t stressed out too badly about clothing because the outfits I’ve been buying for professional work outings can easily double at conference. Now, this is before the actual decision time comes, when I have to figure out what to pack in order not to be charged overweight baggage fees but that’s another story.
I do not have the shoe problem figured out. I might. I have these great Borne wedge sandals that I’ve had for years that are incredibly comfy and go well with all things summer. If they go with the outfits I’ve got, I have day shoe problem solved. It gets trickier, however, for the evening shoes. And that remains a problem as I have not discovered a good trick for stopping blisters. Alcohol will solve most pain issues but blisters? I’d have to get roaring drunk, which my agent would probably recommend against, in order to solve the blister problem. So, strappy sandal lovers, I need some blister solutions that won’t look live I’ve got my toes mummified.

Work Yet to Be Done

I’m thinking about workshops. What am I going to attend this year? I’d love to get some craft workshops in and definitely some professional workshops. But, I have to figure out how to balance the limited time and get to where I need to be. Part of the challenge of RWA being held in NYC is that the publishing houses aren’t limited to the conference site for their cocktail parties. So time will be of the essence as I’m in the overflow hotel and so will need to rush back there, change, and get back to wherever it is I need to be.

I know nothing about NYC. This, I consider a huge weakness that I must mitigate. I hate going into situations blind. So more research is required. I also need to figure out what events are on my must do list verses my want to do list. I think I need some input on that, too.

All in all, I’m really, really excited about going to NYC for RWA. This will be my only true me time for the entire year. There will be no kids. Hubby is going back to Iraq. It’s my only time for me to just be me. I’m thinking a massage is probably in order. Probably drinking (in moderation of course) because I won’t have to worry about getting up at the butt crack of dawn to be in line for the Disney parks to open.

So fellow RWAers. What are you doing to prepare for conference?