By the end of the conference, I had to fit 21 books in my small carry-on bag. It is a great source of pride that I was able to pack every single thing and bring it all home. I didn’t even leave my shampoo.
This is going to sounds really stupid, but my maiden name is “Packham,” and for generations, my family has been known for packing things into small spaces. It’s a gift.
That whole weekend, I had felt elated. It was like a taste of the life I was always meant to live, the one I'm going to have someday.
But as I checked out of the hotel, I felt a surge of nausea over the things I didn’t get to do. There were authors I wanted to meet but couldn’t find, panels I couldn’t attend, and friends I never said goodbye to.
No matter how many places I went and how many people I spoke to, there would always be one thing I couldn’t do.
They say you should live without regrets, but I disagree. That mindset would drive me crazy. Opportunities pass us by, we make mistakes, and sometimes we’re just too tired to keep up. Instead of living with no regrets, I want to always be able to say to myself, “At least I did everything I could do.” And I did.
Speaking of missed opportunities, there was a waiting list at the pitch sessions in case writers didn’t show up. I was shocked. Why on earth would someone not show up to a pitch session? Talking face-to-face with an agent is a precious opportunity.
A fellow writer said she thought it was because they chickened out. I have a hard time believing that. I would rather puke on an agent’s shoes than stand her up.
That would actually be great advertising. People would point at you all weekend and say, “Isn’t that the girl that puked on Kevon Lyon’s shoes? That’s so funny. It’s admirable that she tried to pitch when she was that nervous, though. What does she write about, anyway?”
Then if Kevon became your agent, you’d have a flippin’ awesome story to tell about how you two met. And isn’t making good stories what life is all about?
Thanks for following my conference series! I hope you enjoyed it. The conference was an incredible experience, and I'm glad I was able to share some of it with you.