Tomorrow I'm leaving for the ACFW Conference, and with that comes a whole host of emotions . . . most of which every other writer that's going will feel and try to deny or ignore. Not me. I figured I'd whip open the curtain so you can see the scared little peon that works all the bells and whistles of every great Oz who writes books.
So, in case you're not attending, have never attended, or would just like a peek at what it's like inside a writer's head, here are an assortment of random feelings in no particular order . . .
I'm not nervous about flying, but there is a certain amount of stress about the unknowns, like will I get groped by the TSA? How far is it from the Starbucks to my gate? Will I be sitting next to Chatty Cathy or Salami-smelling Stewart? And what if I get on the wrong shuttle at the airport and end up in Memphis instead of Nashville?
I'm rooming with my buddies, but even so, sweet mercy, what if my nose plugs up and I snore like a buzzsaw all night? What do we do if we all decide to take a shower at the same time? Draw straws? Institute a lottery? Did I pack enough chocolate to last us the entire long weekend?
I'm an introvert. How long can I really manage holding coherent conversations with others before I crack? Will people judge me if my friendly face falls to the floor and I have to hightail it back to my room? Can I pass notes instead of talking?
Big name authors will be roaming the same halls as I am. What if I run into one? Like literally? And I soil my pants? Or what if the needle on my fan-girl-ometer dips into the red zone and I slip into stalker mode just to get an autograph and I don't have their book and I whip out a Sharpie and say, "Here, sign the back of my neck." Is that too creepy?
What if when I'm meeting with an agent or editor I fumble? Or babble? Or freeze frame with a deer-in-the-headlights look?
What if people know who I am? What if they don't know who I am? How do I know who I am?
Did I pack enough deodorant? Underwear? Cute little headbands in case my hair decides to frizz into a topiary?
These thoughts are a sampling of the bajillion that are running through my mind right now. Tomorrow they'll kick into warp drive. You'll probably spot me. I'll be the hot mess sitting in aisle 17.
The point of all this ridiculousness is that I am not the only self-doubting writer who will be attending a conference this year. Pretty much everyone there will be just as angst-filled as you are because artists are most critical of themselves. The beauty of that is honestly you don't have to worry about what others are thinking about you because they're too focused on themselves. So go ahead and embrace your inner freak. You're among friends.
I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me
two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the
latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and
Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti
phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?