As a newbie to RWA, Southern Magic, and romance writing in general, I was very excited and a little overwhelmed attending my first conference. Generally, people were friendly and the workshops informative. I learned a ton of information and enjoyed the experience. But, for me, there were two key things I took from it (aside from all the wonderful books!!) that I wanted to share:
1. Everyone Does It Differently.
2. Ignorance Is Not Bliss.
One of the main questions I heard asked to published authors was whether they were a plotter or a pantser. And while the answer generally placed them in one or the other category, the underlying technique was almost always different (plowing straight through the first draft without looking back, reviewing and editing everything written before starting for the day, outlining with index cards or using the screen writing method). Sometimes authors shared their experience of trying the technique of a friend and explained that they found writing the story harder. This hit home for me because I've been banging my head against writer's block for some time. It made me question whether I've truly found my own method as a pantser or, as Susan Phillips put it in her workshop, I'm really a plotter being lazy...
What about you? Have you tried a different method of writing? If so, did it work better or worse?
The second thing that hit home for me was how ignorant I am about writing. Don't get me wrong; I've been reading and learning about writing, but only as a craft. I have not studied the business. Silly me, I thought that was something I was far from needing to know. After all, I can't seem to finish a first draft, let alone start the query process. But, I learned this is not the case. Not only is it necessary, but it can also be a little embarassing when you should know something or someone and haven't taken the time to learn. Ignorance is not bliss.
So do you keep up with the business aspect of writing? If so, how?