Nov 10: I love receiving feedback from people. You know, when it’s amazing and they think you walk on water and they basically cheer you on and you can do no wrong. My friend John pointed out to me once about 5 years ago that I surround myself with “my cheerleaders.” He even drew it on a whiteboard once – I was the center stick person and then there were other stick people around me who I think resembled my parents and my closest friends who loved everything I did like all good stick-people friends do. I don’t remember all the details, but I think I left the conversation knowing he was right.
After researching the book publishing industry, I’m realizing that the industry probably isn’t a panel of cheerleaders waiting to tell me my every last word is amazing (or marketable). Yuck. I imagine the process is similar to the music, modeling, and acting industry where people put themselves out there and then 3 people sitting at a long table stare at you (1 of which probably has a British accent) and they tell you in not-so-many words that you’re inadequate and all you can do is make the first available botox appointment you can find and give up your craft (still debating if I’m a person who uses the word “craft”).
In any case, I decided to send my pitch to a coworker who is an accomplished sci-fi writer, and who graciously offered to listen to my pitch prior to my trip. I only had time to send the written copy just given my work schedule, but I was so appreciative for his feedback! He gave me great suggestions which I will be working to incorporate prior to the conference starting.
Nov 11: My last day of work before I leave for New York City. It is by the grace of God that I have been calm thus far in the week. I was semi-freaking out last week as I was dreaming of chaos in the city and I was telling myself how great the other authors probably are (did you see what I did right there, calling myself an author?) and phrases I wrote in stories that all of the sudden sounded stupid, but I prayed for calmness and confidence this week and He delivered.
After being married to Chris for 7 years, I’ve also picked up his ability (somewhat) to just focus on one thing before the next, so I wouldn’t even let myself mentally run with all things New York and packing until I was shutting down my laptop at work today. But before I hop into tales of my packing….one of the best parts of my day was finding a gift on my desk at work! My friend/coworker, Heather, left me the cutest box that looked like a New York cab with the nicest card and some items inside to get my “creative juices flowing.” It was the nicest thing ever and made me feel so loved (and gifts is my Love Language!). It was awesome and I loved it so much! It was the highlight of my day and made me super excited for the days ahead ::insert long sigh and praise for good friends::
In between meetings, I did manage to send my mom a couple of my shorter stories and she wrote back that she loved them and she was laughing outloud and her coworkers asked what she was reading. My confidence shot through the roof. Yes it’s my mom, but yes she is not afraid to give honest feedback if something sucks.
So…packing. I may have said this when I packed for Vegas back in July, but I have this (bad) habit of needing to try on all my outfits before I pack them. I have this fear that suddenly the jeans that fit yesterday will no longer fit tomorrow (ladies – ya know what I’m sayin’? You’re in a skinny jean one day and elastic pants the next, I swear) and I’ll be sucking in my stomach for 8 hours at a writers conference while trying to look trendy and smart and cool and creative. So, I make sure the bed is perfectly made (well, I do that every morning because I have a superstition that I’ll have a bad day if I don’t make the bed first) and then I lay out all my outfits in order of the week before putting them in my suitcase. This routine takes in excess of an hour but I will say I do manage to travel light despite the pre-packing routine. Even better, I was able to get all outfits to revolve around 1 pair of flat shoes. If I don’t earn a book deal just for that, then….I don’t know what these agents and editors want from me.
So here I am, sitting in pajamas with my printed half-baked manuscript beside me, copies of my pitch in a folder, a packed suitcase…..with a husband whose bag is packed and ready to go because he believes in me and my words so much that he’d travel to the busiest city in the country to support me. I want to explode with all things mushy. I can’t even stand the support I get sometimes from people.
This is happening guys.