I read 4,200 pages (ten books) over the course of two months. I studied my flash cards, rewrote my query, made business cards, practiced my pitch, and researched my agents. Now, finally, I'm going to the conference.
I keep telling myself, When you get there, don't say anything stupid.
Those of you who haven't followed this story from the beginning might wonder, "Why is this such a big deal? Why is this the only thing she's thought about for months and why does she keep blogging about it?"
I've wanted to be a writer since I was eight, but I didn't just want to write. I wanted the package deal. I wanted to interact with other authors, go to readings and signings, and be an influential member of the writing community. I want to be like Nathan Bransford: helpful, well-rounded, well-known, and well-liked.
I didn't realize just how badly I wanted this until I went to a free conference in Oxford and met with some of my heroes (including Kevin Brockmeier and Tea Obreht). Like I said before, it was the most fun I've ever had.
People ask if conferences are worth the money. Um, hello? You get to meet authors and agents. Maybe I didn't make that clear enough: You get to meet authors and agents. A conference is an invitation to prematurely enter the magical world of The Published.
(It helps that I still think of authors as gods and not people. I wonder when I'll get over that?)
Am I making so much of this that I'm likely to be disappointed? Let me answer that with a question; did I mention I get to meet authors and agents?
I hope you take advantage of any social opportunities you can find. I've had more fun in the blogging world than I ever thought I would. I guarantee there are book signings close to where you live, as well as book clubs, critique groups, and events. There might even be a conference nearby. Don't miss opportunities: you never get those back.