Experts seem to agree: we grow by doing things that scare us. I believe this!
It’s why I tackled cognitive-behavioral therapy, why I seek out public speaking opportunities, why I ask for criticism on the things that I write. Those things all scare(d) me, but I knew I had so much to gain by facing them. Self-confidence, networking opportunities, friendships, new & improved drafts, stronger character. In the case of CBT, I gained back my life.
I am not ashamed of being frightened by things … but I force myself to do those things anyway.
As you are reading this, I am probably on a plane to Monterey, California, or perhaps I’ve already arrived for the Big Sur Writing Workshop. Let’s be honest. I’m quite terrified.
1) I am not good with airports. Silly, I know, but I use them infrequently enough that they always make me nervous. I try to always fly direct so that I don’t have to deal with the pain of connecting flights, but on this trip, it was unavoidable. I’ll be connecting in Phoenix on the way there … and back.
2) I am not only asking for criticism on my novel but giving myself limited time to respond to it. At the writing workshop I’m attending this weekend, I’ll get feedback and then have to turn around immediately and revise. And repeat. Generally, I like 24-36 hours to process a critique, get over it, and dive back into a new draft. This entire conference is only about 48 hours, so there is the pressure to act and act now.
3) I will be interacting with literary agents, editors, and authors, all within the children’s and young adult genre. I want to shine, not only in my writing, but in my personality and presence. I love networking, but it can be exhausting to always be “on.” In addition, I am just nervous in general about interacting with people who know so much about the field I’ve chosen.
But I’m doing it. I have wanted to go to this workshop for the last nine months, and I am finally making it happen. If you pray, would you pray for me?
I simply want to write impeccably, charm everyone, enjoy myself, and come away with a better manuscript. Is that too much to ask of one weekend?