Pre-National Nerves

Well, a week from today I’ll be heading to Orlando for my very first Nationals Conference. I’m feeling equal parts excitement and trepidation.

Excitement because I can’t wait to take some of these workshops. I suppose being in college as long as I was, I have no problem sitting for long periods of time absorbing information. As long as it’s something I want to absorb, that is. Put numbers on a board or start talking about adding and I’m going to zone out. Yeah, pretty sure that won’t be a problem at Nationals, but who knows?

I’m also excited because I’ll be surrounded by my kind of people: writers, more specifically, romance writers. It’ll be fun to listen to what kind of conversations go on. I missed out on the chance to get an appointment with agents and editors, and I had thought about doing a little friendly stalking, but I’ve decided not to. Not only do I not have new material ready for pitching, but I’m kind of at the point where I realize my Veil series is probably a dead horse. And that’s okay. I think I’ll be taking some elements from it and working on another idea. Besides that though, not pitching to agents and editors means I don’t have to be nervous and go through the I’m-gonna-be-sick-please-don’t-let-me-puke-on-the-nice-editor/agent pre-pitch jitters. This is a good thing.

Now on to the trepidation I feel. I’m a shy person. Are you shocked? You have to be considering how much bull I talk here, but I’m…antisocial. Remember the Grumpy McGrumperton post? Well, that sort of extends to things beyond the phone. It isn’t that I don’t like visiting with people, but I never know what to say. That’s when I revert to a defensive position: sarcastically witty (if I do say so myself). I realized this when I had to take two consultants on a tour of our facilities last week. I made little remarks the entire day and they chuckled, but I think they were wondering what the hell was wrong with me.

I’m hoping this won’t be a problem because I imagine a lot of writers are like that. I hope? I was talking to my BFF yesterday and said I sure hope people talk to me. I’m going alone. I don’t know anyone from personal meetings, everything’s been on-line (and I’m not saying this to make people feel sorry for me, it’s just a fact). So she said OMG, that would suck if you didn’t have anyone to talk to! Better bring your computer. Which I am anyway because I have to be able to update for my peeps!

It’s scary, almost like finals for school (which I still have nightmares about). You know, the dream where you have a final for a class you’ve never been to and aren’t even sure where it’s located and your entire life hinges on passing? You don’t have that dream? Oh. Must just be me. Anyway, that’s how nervous I am, but I’m slowly growing comfortable with the idea. I just keep remembering that the people I’ve met through RWA, FF&P, and various other groups are…well, people too. They might be just as nervous as me! In which case, we’ll all clump together like sheep and baa once in a while.

How about you? If you’re going to Nationals, are you nervous? Do you want to be my friend? Check yes or no…Bwahahaha. Sorry. Ahem. It’ll be cool.


Filed under RWA

7 responses to “Pre-National Nerves

  1. I went to my very first National writing conference last September. I was crazy nervous, but I had several friends coming. What made me nervous were the agent meetings.

    I had two of them.

    One went horribly, he pretty much told me my story was a walking cliche (funny, an editor asked for it after it finaled in a contest three months later. . . LOL) The second appointment went MUCH better.

    But you’re right, the nerves were crazy hard to deal with. If I had to do it over, I’d do it like you are. Just go, learn, meet people, etc. . .then the next one, yeah, pitch agents.

    BUT. . . I’d be prepared to pitch something anyway, okay? Just in case you get a divine appointment. I call those appointments that God arranges. You know, like meeting your dream agent in an elevator and they happen to ask what you’re writing . . . It has happened.


    Wish I was going to Nationals this year, I’d meet up with you for SURE!!! May 2012. I hear it’s in Anaheim. . . that’s close to me. But don’t worry, people will talk to you, no problem!!

    • Thanks Lynn, lol. I kind of have that queasy-reverting-back-to-high-school feeling going on, but it’ll pass. I hope. LOL I sort of a have a pitch, but since my current finished manuscript has been shopped out to editors already, it doesn’t appear that many agents are willing to touch it. Which is fine, I can handle that 🙂 Thanks for the words of support and comfort!!

  2. I will talk to you- I am the antithesis of shy- I’ll talk to anyone and sometimes that bites me in the butt, too- so we can hang and you can not talk and I can talk and maybe we can strike a balance. Looking foward to meeting you in person!

    • Yeah I’m looking forward to meeting the Sizzlers since I’ve been following y’all for a year now, lol. I might’ve already met some of y’all at the Writers for New Orleans Conference, but I can’t remember. Talk all you want! I won’t mind, lol

  3. I WISH I was going to Nationals. Maybe next year? One of the reasons I’m not going, though, is because I’m quiet. Not shy, exactly, but like you, when I’m around strangers I often don’t know what to say. So I’ll just sit there quietly and observe, but I’m always worried this makes me come off as stuck up or something.

    I’m sure it’ll be great at RWA, though. I mean, all you really have to do is ask a stranger what they write, and the conversation could go on for hours.

    Have fun! And do post updates.

    • Yes, Sandy! That’s it exactly! I observe quietly and I worry that it makes me seem stuck up (which I totally am…not, lol). I’m going to try my hardest to be there next year too. I’ll have one big conference under my belt, so should know what to expect. Plus…it’s like in NYC! Hello? A cajun country girl in NYC?? It’ll be like Crocodile Dundee all over again! (Minus the big knife and cool hat)

  4. I wish I was going! BUT I’m not…..Have fun and keep us up to date!

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