I spent last week at the Romantic Times conference, a wonderful get together for authors, readers, editors, agents, cover models, and other romance industry professionals hosted by Romantic Times magazine. I got to spend some time with Mary Balogh, met Courtney Milan, hung out with some of the other wonderful ladies who write for my publisher, and learned about a drink called a Dark and Stormy from a swain of most charming and handsome attributes.
I also spent time with some readers, and that’s always a treat. Writing can be a lonely, lonely business, and it’s easy to focus on the one-star reviews, looming deadlines, and market uncertainties. Time with the readers restoreth the soul, and helps keeps the priorities where they ought to be.
Something else that restoreth the soul: Having whole milk in my mini-fridge to dump in my decaf tea. Little Ghiradelli dark chocolate squares to start and end the day with, comfortable shoes, plenty of water, a quiet room to go to when the noise becomes overpowering.
I used to dread these conferences, but I’ve found that by paying attention to small comforts, my endurance is significantly fortified, and instead of managing my anxieties and discontents, I can instead focus on the positives–like meeting readers, meeting one of my idols, and hanging out with writing buddies.
And one of those comforts will always be a good book on my nightstand.
What small comforts fortify you against life’s challenges? To one commenter, I’ll send a $15 Amazon gift card.