by Anita Clay
10. Attend an event organized professionally and efficiently by cool black women.
9. Check into a good hotel at a reasonable rate for an affordable conference that even makes provision for scholarships.
8. Meet smart, good-looking women of every age from all over the country (even Australia) who smile when they see you because they feel the bond.
7. Laugh, learn and even cry with mentors who make you feel you can write, publish and take the world by storm while reminding you that your gift comes from God.
6. Be in a place where there is no big me and little you. A place where you don’t find out the person sharing, learning and laughing next to you in a workshop is a well-known presenter in the next session until you get there. Feel the love. Feel the respect.
5. Hear other women’s (and men’s) stories of survival, success and beyond. Be encouraged by their dreams and yours.
4. Get honest, straight information about costs, work, agents, legalities, marketing strategies and more stuff you didn’t even know to ask about.
3. Meet a short, elderly man who reminds you of your father, or the father you wish you had, who cares enough to tell you not to drink out of the used water glasses and not to leave your computer in the room and when you do, doesn’t tell you, “I told you so.”
2. Feel special when you meet Tia Ross, and the other ladies (especially Monica Blache, the one who loaned us her dad) at registration and know they care about you even though they don’t know you.
1. Find yourself. Leave believing in yourself and your talent. Leave with your heart burning inside, knowing you can and will write! AND you will come back, anywhere, any time.