The Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference is only a few weeks away. I just bought my plane ticket to the Romantic Times Convention,. I’ve had conferences on the brain lately and I must say I do love them. I love the energy, excitement, and even the touch of nervousness in the air. Writer and readers events are opportunities for me to shed the evil day job persona and enjoy being a writer for a while. It also gives me the chance to get together in person with friends that I may only connect with online.
Most importantly conferences give me the chance to network with industry professionals , other writers and readers. While I do enjoy meeting new people, it’s also difficult for me. It’s practically a requirement of an author’s job to mix and mingle, yet I find that’s often where I struggle. I’ll be the first to admit that striking up conversations with a stranger is less then comfortable for me. I think most of us are concerned about suffering from foot in mouth disease and I’m no exception. I’m also, by nature, a reserved individual until I get comfortable with a person. I suppose the catch is you can’t get get comfortable and find common ground with someone without engaging in a little small talk. Now each time I go to a conference, I set a goal for myself to try and meet at least one new person and not stay latched to my friends. I try and step outside of my comfort zone and strike up a conversation with someone who is probably just as nervous as I. By stepping out of that box, I have been fortunate enough to meet some pretty great people. It’s still not easy but at least I’m trying.
Are you like me and meeting new people is tough for you? Maybe the thought of pitching to an editor or agent make you want to hyperventilate? What aspects of conference going make you nervous? What do you love?