Sunday, June 19, 2011
RWA National - Take Two
I'm excited, and nervous of course. I understand now that last year's National was a dress rehearsal, a chance for me to make ALL the mistakes when it didn't matter so much.
I did make those mistakes -- which I won't itemize here, just trust me that Mistakes Were Made -- and I learned from them. I will try really hard not to make them again. Because it matters a lot more this year, when I have a real book (a book that's finished and, more importantly, is pretty good) to pitch.
That's not an invitation to assure me you like me. I actually know at some level that most people like me well enough. Some people don't, which is fine, and some people like me a lot, which is nice.
You know where this is going, don't you? It's all about self-acceptance. I'm the only person who has to think I'm speaking in a soft enough voice, not monopolizing the conversation, not showing off. Part of that is to actually not do those things (duh) but the harder part is to reassure myself that I'm not doing those things...and then let it go.
That goes for my writing. What's the flaw in the space-time continuum that makes us LOVE our bad first books (to the point of volitional blindness) but doubt our undeniably better second books? (Or is that just me?) There is a silver-lining to this phenomenon: it means I'm more open to criticism of work that will actually benefit from it.
So I go next week to be with friends, make new friends, introduce myself to people who may be able to help my writing career, and tell a few professionals about Blackjack & Moonlight. It's not yet the "other convention" that Emily Bryan (now writing as Mia Marlowe) wrote about last year -- the convention that you attend after you've gotten "the call" -- but it's not the head-down, one workshop after another, convention that I attended last year.
Last year, I went to National as a wannabe writer. I'll go this year as a wannabe author. I'm hoping next year to go to the post-"the call" convention. I don't mind that I don't get to go to that this year -- among other things, I think there's that much more schmoozing involved. Like my writing, my schmoozing skills are improving, but they're not ready for the big time.