Conferences… gulp.

I’m looking up writers’ conferences. *takes a breath to calm stomach*

I don’t know why I get so nervous about this stuff. I mean, I believe in my book. I believe it is good. I’d love to meet writers! I’d love to meet agents! I’d love to write, “Dear Mr. (or Ms.) Amazing Agent: I hung out with you at The Best Writers Ever conference and you requested that I query you about my book, Bleeder.” That would be awesome.

So why do my fingers start sweating when I even visit the websites? Here’s why:

Hordes of people that I don’t know.

Everyone there is probably all so cool and they speak eloquently. And they wear hippie clothes that swoosh while reading Thoreau. And maybe some of them are even published! What?! I am soooooo young (well, I look so young). One look at my Vans and my freckles and I’m officially not cool enough.

Some of those agents have already rejected my query. (Not kidding- they were nice and all, but still… awkward).

I know the main speakers without looking them up. They’re that impressive.

I am really, really short. So crowds frighten me. Seriously- elbows everywhere.

I hate schmoozing. I don’t understand it (see here for why).

I have nobody to go with. (Unless I drag my poor husband who would be bored by himself while I’m conferencing for hours at a time)

It means that I’m really a writer. I’ve never spent hundreds of dollars on a hobby.

What if they tell me my book sucks? (They won’t. It doesn’t. But what if they do?)

What if they tell me my book is so awesome they want to make it into a movie next week? (Almost scarier than telling me it sucks)

So- to any writer people- which conferences have you been to? Were they helpful or were they the scariest thing ever?

Please let me know I’m not alone!

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7 thoughts on “Conferences… gulp.

  1. Joanna says:

    we had a woman come to my children’s lit class–kristin o’donnell tubb–and she told us that she met her agent at a conference after having her book rejected many times. and now she is a published author (we read selling hope and i highly recommend it)! so don’t despair–you can do it!

  2. humblenations says:

    You’ve done the hard part … writing a book … that’s the thing that really took courage. This is just a walk in the park. If you’re having troubles feeling like your alone … go with the attitude that it’s not you going to the conference it’s your book – that the person that’s booked in to go. You’re just the books minder / protector / friend that’s tagging along for the ride. And if that sort of visualisation metaphor trick fails … do what the English do … get incredibly drunk. Works for me every time!

    • Laura Lee Anderson says:

      Thank you! That metaphor is actually really calming. I’d much rather be my book’s minder/protector/friend than its overwrought mother, hoping it makes lots of new friends (which is how I often feel). I think I’m gonna do this conference.

  3. Writerlious says:

    Hi, Laura. I decided to pop by your blog after you commented on my Lucky 7 post. Let me just gush, again (since I already did so on my blog), about how excited I am to meet another Backspacer before the conference! This will be my first conference too, so I’m just as green as you are. Shoot me an email (writerlious(at)gmail(dot)com) and we can chat more. I’m sure we’ll have lots to conspire about (…ahem… I mean talk about) before the conference. 🙂 I’m super nervous too. Guess we’ve got 4 more weeks to get over that. Gah!

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