Thursday, November 10, 2016

#ROSACon2016: Inspiration to be an authorpreneur

Romance Writers of South Africa

Walking into a room of women with impressive writing CVs can be both intimidating and inspirational. This was my experience when I attended the second day of the ROSA Conference 2016.
From my very first moment I was astounded with the amazing sisterhood, but business-minded attitude that existed between these writers. 
Though I was there because I’m an aspiring writer, it felt like hanging out with your tribe – while still learning by being in the company of Romy Sommer, Joss Wood, Joanne MacGregor, Rae Rivers and Rebecca Crowley.
Joss Wood’s workshop gave me ideas and inspiration for all the books I haven’t written. (I mean, just being in her presence makes you create heroines for you books: Both sassy, fun, strong and kind – Joss is the heroine we aspire to write and be). Romy’s showed me where to looked for research for your book and how small details make your story seem more believable. It was also during Romy’s session that I realized how research and using all research tools makes your characters more real to yourself and how it can translate to the page.
Joanne MacGregor intimidated the living daylights out of me, but boeta, the woman inspired me to become an authorpreneur.
To be a writer is viewed as a creative process. You are an artist who creates a world out of twenty six letters. But the writers at the ROSACon 2016 showed me they are also business women.
In the words of Joanne MacGregor: “If you want to be a traditional torture writer selling no copies, then write in that dark corner. But if you want to be selling author, you have to hustle!”
And hustle I shall!
This rang true to me because writers of romance have to juggle a lot of different roles, while receiving a huge amount of disrespect from the literary community. Yes, these writers create a great product, but they are also the marketers, their own CEO’s and their own financial managers. All the while working other jobs - and the proof is in the sales, because romance sells!   
Rae Rivers’s talk about fear, was especially touching and it’s a workshop every writer should attend, because the fear of failure is universal. To control your fear is a great accomplishment and Rae gave easy, useful guidelines on how to turn your fear-enemy into a trusted ally.  
I walked out of ROSACon 2016 wishing it was a week long and feeling inspired, but more than that my whole perception of writing changed.

Cliffordene was also the winner of the Three's Company writing conference contest this year.

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