A few years ago I joined a Facebook group for writers called 20Books to 50K. It's a weird name, but the explanation is this the founder wanted to make enough money on book sales to retire to Cabo. He figured he could do that on $50,000 a year - but rather than put all the responsibility on one or two books, he did some advanced writer math and realized that if he wrote 20 moderately-successful books - books that made $7.50 each per day - he could make that $50,000 without having a runaway bestseller. So it's a retirement plan specific to one writer, but a group of writers have grown up around it, most of whom have found various ways to get where they want to be.
It's extremely motivating. In two years, I still haven't worked my way through all their online content, but I'll get there eventually. But the big deal - the big dog, as it were - is the yearly conference in Las Vegas.
You can pay for a virtual ticket and watch the live stream, which I've done for 2 years. Eventually the videos end up on YouTube and I can watch all the presentations I wasn't able to see at the time. But like any event, much of the important stuff happens outside of the presentations and classes, meeting writers you admire, comparing notes with someone on your level or just above.
So I've wanted to go, even though I knew it would be massively overwhelming. I couldn't justify it last year, and I had pretty much talked myself out of it this year until they put out a call for volunteers to handle the live streaming of the presentations. They hired professionals last year, and it didn't go well, so this year they decided to go back to volunteers - and those volunteers would get a conference pass, a free room, and a food stipend. I convinced my husband that with his background in communication (job) and film and TV production (in college, but still) he would be an ideal fit. Then I could share his room and his food stipend, and all I would have to pay for would be my conference fee and the airfare.
Also, we haven't had a vacation since 2018, which is one of the reasons I put off going to Vegas last year. Our March 2020 vacation was canceled, obviously, and two rescheduled trips since then had to be put off because of other issues. This isn't a trip to Paris, but we can go and stare at a fake Eiffel Tower if we're not too tired.
This is the only way I would ever want to go to Vegas. That much noise and lights and crowd is enough to send me into a hole but only if I could pull it in after me. And I will do that, the very evening we land back in Philadelphia when the conference is over. My introvert self will suck it up for 5 days, retreat to the room when necessary, meditate in the toilets, do whatever it takes to get the best experience possible out of this.
What happens in Vegas won't stay in Vegas. I'm going to bring it home and implement it and hopefully take my writing career to the next level.