Today we are super fortunate to have a guest post from one of our WANA International Artist Instructors. Natalie left her life in PR to become a multi-published author, blogger, and mentor to writing moms all over the world. Those of us who write while juggling babies, diapers, laundry and bottles know that we have unique challenges. People like Natalie are a real treasure. She dedicates her life to teaching writing moms how to balance life, work, writing and family and not go off the deep end.
Take it away, Nat!
I love conferences. I enjoy dressing up in my beautifully professional suits, meeting new people (or maybe agents) in the Starbucks line, going over and planning my workshops out to detail that could rival my old college course schedule and yes, I really love laughs with new friends at the bar.
That was the outlook of my younger self. Now I have one BIG issue keeping me from most conferences and it’s comes in a small, blond and highly energetic package. Conferencing it up as a mom is very difficult. However, thanks to the wonderful World Wide Web, conferences are becoming more virtual. Parents are finding it easier to maintain a professional presence while cartoons blare from the next room.
WANA International, which “empowers artists of a digital age” is hosting the first WANA Con: Worldwide Writing Conference starting tomorrow. This is a conference that accommodates writers that may not be an easy flight to a big city. I definitely understand if you are shaking your head to this one; I live and work from Saudi Arabia. WANACon is the perfect conference for writing moms (and dads, too) who can’t easily leave because of a child, dependent furry children and/or needy spouses.
Sure you pay a registration fee but look at the money you save on travel, food, that pretty new “power suit” you’ve had your eye on, etc. From the comforts of your home or as WANA Mama, Kristen Lamb says, “a party in your P.J.’s, the ultimate writer fantasy.”
And you’ll still get that networking feel (just provide your own “adult” beverage.) WANA A.I’s or “artistic instructors” will be in the virtual “hallway” and “classrooms” chatting with attendees. You’ll have web time with instructors of various topics. This is a great opportunity to learn about future workshops prior to signing up. There’s no better person to ask such questions to than the instructor.
WANACon also is bringing the benefit of agent pitches right to your computer. Really! You are getting those benefits of a great conference experience without leaving your home!
So when you’re tired, struggling to write thanks to your third cup of coffee and praying your toddler honors their bedtime, take a big breath. There is a conference for you that no tantrum can ruin. Dust the Cheerios from your shoulder and brush up on those pitches. It’s time to sign-up for WANACon.
P.S. Anyone who signs up for WANA Con is eligible for a special discounted rate of my upcoming “Writing Moms (and Dads!)” workshop as well as the consultation component. Just let me know when you want to sign-up for my workshop and I’ll ensure you get the discount.
Oh and there is a pajama contest during the conference. Yep, you don’t want to miss this! Sign-up for WANA Con!
Natalie C. Markey is an author, mommy, wife, animal lover and chaos manager extraordinaire. After a career in professional dancing and public relations/television in New York City she successfully turned her part-time writing career into a full-time career. She is the author of ‘Caring for Your Special Needs Dog’ and speaks on the topics of time management for writing moms and busy artists. She also writes YA and MG fiction with a new non-fiction dog book on the way and holds numerous local and National freelancing contracts. Natalie graduated from Baylor University. She is thankful for the support of her husband, daughter, dog and two very hoppy bunnies.
Natalie, I have so much respect for writing moms. Well, I’m a writing mom, but my youngest will turn 20 in April, so my Cheerio-dusting days are in the past. I may not have cartoons blasting in the next room (my sons like NBA), but I could certainly brush up my time management skills, so I appreciate your offer of a discount.
I am so excited about going to my very first writers’ conference, I’m grinning from ear to ear.
Have Fun. Cannot make the party. – Daniel
I so wanted to do this, but the job that actually pays the bills is in healthcare and conflicts. It was too late to take time off. Enjoy.
Sorry, I have missed your virtual conference. It is a great idea. I am attending a lot of them all over the world sitting at my desk. Chapeau bas to technology and your creativity, Kristen!