Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Value of Volunteering

I've never understood why it is so difficult to get people to volunteer. It is almost always a positive experience.
Volunteering is the way to get the most out of any conference. I helped Carol and Darcy with the chapter basket literacy raffle yesterday. We worked all day getting ready but it was worth the time. I know I got a number of selfish benefits from doing so.
1. I met people I might not come into contact with any other time during the conference.
2. I feel good about doing and being a part of something positive like the literary effort.
3. As a member I liked doing my part to help make the 2009 conference a success. It takes hundreds of volunteers to make RWA tick.
4. I gave back to an organization that has helped me.
5. I also got two free books.
My paramount first impression of the 2009 conference is that romance writers are some of the nicest people in the world. Who wouldn't want to be associated with a group like that?

On another personal note I woke at 5:15AM, left Carol's house at 6:00AM for a hour and a half commute into DC, arrive at the hotel at 7:30 and hit the ground running. I'm a member of the Heart Beats, a medical writing group and had lunch with them. Brenda Novak was my table partner. We are now best friends.(I wish.) She was wonderful and gracious. We both have sick kids so besides writing we had that to talk about. I did get to speak to Shelia Hodgens who edits for the Mills and Boon Medical line. No pitch, but I plan to see her again before the conference is over. After lunch I went up to visit with Eloisa James. She had invited us when she was our guest blogger. Very nice lady. Julia Quinn was there also. The greatest thing about both of them is that they looked and act like you and me, which means we can all be published one day.
This evening was the book signing which had over 500 authors attending. Carol, Darcy and I were sooooo busy we only got to look over the sea of people a couple of times. I did get some books signed before a few of the authors I wanted to see left. My feet hurt now.
Oh, I forgot, Nora and I had a nice little conversation also. Could she be my next best friend?
I may not have a chance to comment much today so just know I'm out learning new things in workshops, and making more best friends.
Think of me on Friday afternoon at 4:30PM. I have an appointment with an editor.


Sandy Elzie said...

Hi Susan,

If you don't comment we'll understand. It sounds like so much fun. I can't wait for next year...a bunch of us will be at Nationals in Tenn.

I love your topic about volunteering. I've always volunteered and you've hit the nail on the head. It's a great experience. These functions (including M&M) can't happen without those who step up and lend a hand...or an arm, leg, and...

Thanks for taking time to share with us.


Sally Kilpatrick said...

Susan-thanks for reminding us why we should all volunteer. I look forward to being friends with your friends. : )

Good luck with your pitch at 4:30--I'll be thinking of you.


Linsey Lanier said...

Yes, your comments on volunteering are well taken. Sounds like you're having a great time.

You had a conversation with Nora??? Can I touch you when you get back? LOL.

Good luck Friday. I know you'll wow 'em!


Debbie Kaufman said...

Good luck with your editor appointment, Susan! I so agree about volunteering. Sure, it's a little extra work, but the benefits are great!

Maxine Davis said...


Thanks fo rthe post & for reminding us all to volunteer! Yes, it can be fun!

The best of luck to you this afternoon. I don't think you need it, but good luck anyway!!! Knock 'em dead!

Marilyn Baron said...

Good luck with your pitch.

Volunteering is a great way to meet people. I have volunteered at the Book Signing for Literacy at a couple of national conferences and it was a lot of fun.

I also met Nora a couple of times (Of course she doesn't know who I am, but....)

Oh, and I'm reading her latest book now, Black Hills and I love it.

I miss the excitement of Nationals.

Have fun.

Marilyn Baron

Tami Brothers said...

Yay, Susan!!! Thanks a ton for posting all the way from Washington DC and in the midst of all that craziness. You rock!!!

Sounds like our PF&HT sisters are having a great time. Wish we could be there with you!

Keep us posted when you can.


ps - great topic. We need LOTS more volunteers like you!

Anna Steffl said...

Wow, a real post from DC! Thanks for taking the time and having the energy. Your pitch is in 7 minutes. I'm sending loads of good thoughts your way!


Susan May said...

I had a few minutes to say Hi. Linda Howard spoke at lunch and was great. I'm a big fan so I like anything she says. I did an hour of the PRO workshop, than went to an alpha male workshop. It was great. I like those hunky, big everywhere guys. The last one today was about talking to the press. Even at a romance conference I also think about sell and handling my nonfiction.
Darcy, Carol and I are having some of our GRW group in tonight just to see how their conference is going.
More later....

Ana Aragón said...

Great post, Susan! I think we met at a literacy signing in Atlanta, didn't we? Or was it M&M? Anyway, I absolutely love to volunteer for the book signings. Maybe one day there will be lots of people in line to get to meet me (I can always hope, right?)

I love the way you tossed out those names, girl! I am SO envious! But I'll be there next year in Nashville...yee-haa!


Linsey Lanier said...

Way cool, Susan. Thanks for catching us up. It sounds like a blast.

This virtually conferencing is great if you can't afford to go. I almost feel like I'm there! Thanks to the PHFT sister who thought of it. :)