Be Inspired

This article first appeared at the Writers At Play blog, August 5, 2008.

At the RWA National Conference, fellow Playpal Carla Capshaw was giving away these fantastic green pens that say “Be Inspired” on them. This makes total sense since she writes Inspirationals, but that slogan stuck with me throughout the conference. There’s something about meeting up with old friends and making new ones, going to workshops and firing yourself up for editor/agent pitches that gets the creativity going.

There’s more to it, though: It’s that I spent a week immersed in the Romance genre. This is a genre that empowers women to write about what means the most to them and that is as varied as the women who write it. How lucky are we that RWA exists to mentor us at all of the stages of our careers? Not only are Romances as books self-affirming, but so are the people who make up the genre, the readers as well as the writers. Even the Today Show thought so, airing the following story on the Conference and the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing that raised almost $60,000 to benefit literacy charities:

If you’re a writer who attended the conference, what inspiration did you bring back with you in addition to a suitcase full of free books (and in my case a nasty cold)? If you’re a reader who attended the autographing, what did you think of it? If you weren’t able to attend the conference, what inspires you about the Romance genre? What are the take-aways you get from reading Romance?