In only two days (Friday, to be exact) I'll be attending my first-ever writers' conference, the New Jersey Romance Writers annual conference. It's a two day affair, and while I'll be going to both days, I won't be staying over night. The budget can only accomodate so much, and stays in hotels in Iselin, NJ were not on that list. Besides, there's a Beck concert in the city on Friday night I have to get back for. At least I have my priorities straight.
I'm pretty nervous. Who am I kidding, I'm terrified. My social anxiety does NOT respond well to situations in which I am thrust into the teeming midst of hundreds of strangers. I have a few writer acquaintences through work connections (one of whom is an NYT bestseller!) and some of them will be at the conference. But I don't want to be that lame fan who hangs around too much, doesn't know when to shut up and is generally a nuissance.
I also signed up for an appointment with an agent or editor. Yeah. And I haven't worked on a pitch at all (for God's sake, I haven't even finished the book!). Clearly I am prepared for this.
Another writer, the wonderful Erin McCarthy, advised me that I should treat my first conference as a complete learning experience: sit with a different person at every meal, ask tons of questions, think of my editor/agent meeting as a practice. And hey, that was the attitude I took into my drivers' test, and I wound up passing. Stranger things have happened.
If I make it through the weekend without passing out or having a heart attack, expect updates next week...