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Monday, May 7, 2012
12:00 AM | Posted by Terri Osburn | | Edit Post
If my experience this weekend at the Virginia Romance Writers For the Love of Writing Conference is any indication, I am in serious trouble.
I've been attending conferences, both big and small, since 2007. As a natural extrovert who enjoys crowds, I always have a good time. But until now, I've always attended as a nobody.
That's not an insult to myself, it's just an observation. I've always been a face in the crowd, blending in and able to sit back and observe. Until 2010, I never even had to pitch. Mostly because I didn't have a manuscript TO pitch.
In other words, I was a person to whom no one paid attention. But this year is different. This year I'm a Golden Heart® finalist and I keep hearing over and over how we're going to be treated like rock stars. Agents and editors will want to chat. A packed schedule with dinners, a reception and the big awards night.
I thought I could handle all the fuss and attention until I attended the local conference for ONE day this weekend and was worn out by lunch. Plus, I had three pitches and was HORRIBLE during the first one. Bless that agent for her extreme patience and kindness. It was like an out-of-body experience. I was a wreck going in, freaking about my pitch as always, and rambled all over that poor woman before she could even sit down and get situated.
My brain was screaming, "Shut up and calm down. Let the woman put her purse on the floor!!!" but the mouth was off and running. I don't even know what I was saying!! She still asked for pages, but with little enthusiasm and I don't blame her one bit. She likely thinks I'm nuts and rightly so.
Thankfully, my two afternoon pitches went much better. I decided to forget about the pre-written pitch stuff and just wing it. Worked beautifully. Still not sure exactly what I said, but at least I came across as sane, clear, and calm. The agent requested pages and the editor made me feel great even though she said there wasn't much she could do for me. Oh but she was wrong.
What she did was boost my confidence and let me know my instincts about something were spot on. If I ever find a way to work with that woman, I'll jump at the chance.
But here's the thing. I was there for ONE day. Seven hours. And only had to drive three miles to get there. Yet, within minutes of walking into my house, I was sound asleep. I'm going to be in Anaheim for six days with maybe four times this level of activity. Not to mention jumping three time zones to get there then losing three hours (or more) on the way home.
Chances of survival are not looking good.
So this is what I want to know. How do you keep yourself up for an event of this kind? Be it a large family reunion, a work function, or even a long trip. Natural remedies to boost energy? Or maybe something to calm the nerves. (I'm REALLY going to need that.) I don't meditate but maybe I should try it? Too bad I don't drink anymore. (Which I'm sure puts a dent in my pirate reputation.)
PS: The conference was wonderful and I have to give a big thank you and kudos to all who volunteered to make this event happen. As an event planner, I know how stressful these things are. Amazing job was done by all and Cathy Maxwell gave the best speech I've ever heard. And I've heard a lot of them. Barbara Samuel's Voice workshop was the icing on my conference cake!