On Saturday, September 6, I will be attending the 2014 Minnesota Writing Workshop in downtown St. Paul.
I’m so excited I could barf.
Seriously, I am really excited, but I’m also massively nervous. This will be my first writer’s conference and I have only the vaguest notion of what to expect based on the website’s description of the event. Sure, it seems straight forward enough, but I’ve had a few bad college experiences where the class I was so excited for definitely did not match the course description. And I’m dropping a whole lot less money on this workshop than I did on those lackluster college courses. I’ve had this conversation with others already, but I still can’t shake the nervousness or the fear that this might actually be a waste of time and money–I mean, I was assured my entire life that college would be worth it. Alas, it was not.
I think most of my trepidation comes from the negative way some folks have looked at my choice to become a writer. My insecurity is firmly rooted in the words of my immediate family’s criticism about how I have yet to pay rent with my writing since I haven’t sold anything yet (well, except my father. His criticisms are because he’s a prick). It’s a fair point that I have no answer for other than to say that if I never even try it’s pretty well assured that I won’t succeed. Like the state lottery likes to point out, “You have to be in it to win it.”
And then there’s the publishing industry, editors, agents and even literary critics who say they want you to succeed but then tell you that you can only really do that if you buy their books, read their blogs, subscribe to their magazine, attend their workshops, sacrifice a virgin, or some other such thing. I know it’s a cynical point of view, but then I am a cynic and that’s how we roll.
So, my reasons for queasiness, as stated above, all weigh on me and make me wonder if I really can make a go of this writing thing (and no, that was not me fishing for compliments, but I wouldn’t reject them either).
Well, then again, that’s the reason I’m going to this here thing in the first place: to learn more about the business so I can become a lean, mean book publishing machine. I thought about paying the extra $29 to get some face time with an actual agent, but then realized that I don’t have an actual finished manuscript to pitch, so instead I opted for just the day-long workshop. It’s probably going to be an information overload, but I’m hoping that I’ll still be able to absorb most of it.
Gotta think positive; don’t let the naysayers drag me down into the pit of self-doubt.
I feel better now. Thanks for the pep talk y’all. You guys are such good listeners.