My Second Writers' Conference (October IWSG Post)

Wow, how has October arrived already? Time to face up to my insecurities again, I suppose. 

This month's insecurity is easy, really. This weekend I'm attending a local Writers' Conference in the greater Seattle area. Cool, huh?

Well, I have to admit, I have a few moments of insecurity about it. Okay, more than a few. In fact, I have shoved the idea of this weekend to the back of my mind. Repeatedly. Just so I don't wimp out. 

First of all, I don't know anyone else going. Not one. I don't even recognize the names of some speakers. 

Now there's something I have to admit. I am not a joiner. I'm not one of those people who sees a group they'd love to be a part of and immediately joins, figuring I'll meet people as I go. No, I'm one of those quiet, wallflower type girls, watching a group until I feel comfortable enough to not get rejected to try joining. 

Groups of people I don't know scare me. Large groups terrify me.

I know, I know. I'm an adult. I should be over this phase in my life. And I've gotten better, trust me. But it still gives me a little tingle thinking about stepping into a room full of writers that are probably better than me, more experienced than me, more published than me, more than I'll ever be, and trying to talk to them. What on earth will we talk about? Small talk? Ugh. Just shoot me now.

Yes. My pessimist really comes out in situations like this. Now I pep talk myself, telling myself that not everyone is better than me, I am probably not the most inexperienced in the room, I could be one of the better ones in the room, I could be...well...that's about where my pep talk falls short. I am not published, I am not truly "experienced." That's not pessimism, that's just honesty. Now, I want to be published, and I've put a lot of work these past few years in feeling up to achieving that goal. I don't think any of my writing and editing over the past few years has been a loss. In fact, it's been a highly valued time of learning the craft of writing and expanding my skills so that when I am ready to query again, I can strike out with confidence in my WIP and pursue publication knowing I have a novel I can be proud of. 

So a part of me looks forward to this weekend, to meeting new local writers, both published and unpublished, seasoned and naive, hopeful and bitter. You see, I do believe that every writer can teach another writer something, and I look forward to learning. 

So I'm going to stuff my insecurities away and feign confidence. In myself, in my writing, in others' advice. After all, what do I have to lose? If I don't find anyone I like, I'll probably never see them again...