Next weekend I will attend the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Midwinter conference for the first time. I have been to other writing conferences, even other SCBWI conferences. But they were regional. This is the big one.
For two days, I will schmooze with and learn from authors, agents, and editors from all around the children’s publishing world. I’m so excited! And I’m so nervous.
Okay, deep breaths.
I won’t be in any official pitch sessions and it isn’t like anyone will judge my writing on the spot. But I’m not the best networker. I’m shy (it’s true). I get tongue-tied. And I blush (OMG do I blush, especially since starting this migraine medication). I’m not great at small talk (I get that from my dad). If it comes to a choice between saying something that sounds stupid in my head or saying nothing, I choose nothing (except for those occasional times when I say the stupid thing and put my foot in my mouth and feel terrible for decades later – no exaggeration). Which can be awkward.
So I’ll have to figure out a way to channel my mother’s warmth and confidence. And it’s not like I haven’t done this before. I’ve been to several conferences and I’ve made friends at all of them (in fact I met two of my most awesomest critique partners at the first conference I ever attended), and had decent conversations with editors and agents. I somehow manage not to make a fool of myself.
I’m sure I can pull off that miracle again. Right?
Anyone else out there going too? I’d love to finally put faces and handshakes (or hugs) to names!
Okay, wish me luck. Wish for clear weather in the Northeast, too, while you’re at it. Now I’m off to figure out transportation.
PS (Thursday morning) I spoke to my brother the other day about my nerves regarding the logistics and he said, “What are you worried about? You’re a world traveler.” And it really helped. I am much calmer and I’m ready to take on NY!