So it’s the first day of the NECRWA conference in Burlington. After checking in I received my “goodie bag” complete with program, name lanyard and my scheduled editor appointments for tomorrow morning. I get to “pitch” my newest work in an 8 minute diatribe to two powerful editors at two distinct publishing houses. How do you define nervous? I’ve done this before at other conferences and that feeling of nervous anticipation coupled with sweat-producing dread never seems to go away. I know I have nothing to be nervous about – after all, I talk for a living. But I think it’s that little nugget of self doubt that always permeates my soul when I talk about the stuff I write. Will the person like it? WIll they understand the story line I’m talking about? WIll they think I’m a complete illiterate moron? Will I stutter, falter, spit? And God forbid – will I forget the story line I am pitching? All these things run through my mind when I think about the pitch.
I’m a confident woman. Really. I know myself and I know my stuff. I can articulate – most of the time – well. I write fairly well, or so I’ve been told. But when it comes to talking about my writing with a complete stranger – who, by the way, may be my ticket to publication – I turn into an inarticulate, thread of thought losing toddler. That’s just dumb!
I’m not going to think about it for now. For today I’m going to attend the meetings I’ve chosen, learn from the masters, and just relax and enjoy the moment. I’ll think about the pitch later…probably all night long…and I won’t sleep, and I’ll be bone tired tomorrow and then then I really will forget the story line, or falter, or stutter, or spit.
Oh god! What have I gotten myself into?