We all have those Social Butterfly moments, but if you're anything like me, they come on the heels of dreaded Cold Feet Syndrome. Clammy hands, dry mouth, knocking knees, nervous (and extremely loud and high-pitched) laughter. It's easier to make a beeline for the nearest restroom stall than calm down and introduce yourself.
Backspace gave me the opportunity to mingle with published and unpublished authors, agents, and other professionals in publishing. Tons of opportunities to mingle. The trick? A smidgen of confidence and diving right in.
Yes I flubbed up my pitch.
Of course I asked crazy questions.
No doubt I laughed way too loud and probably scared people away.
But those things happen to everyone. Especially the laughing thing. Please tell me someone else does that. Umm, seriously, does anyone do that? *crickets chirping* Yikes.
Anyway! It was the exceptional unpublished authors who boosted my confidence. People in my situation who weren't afraid to march up to the agent panel, introduce themselves, and see what happened. If Day One of the conference was finding my footing, Day Two was about standing taller, smiling more, and trying super duper hard to dim my hyena laugh. I give myself a 70% success rate on that. ;)
Thank you to Laura, Nebraska, Eliza, Koreen, and so many others for being brave, teaching me to mingle, and encouraging (and, at times, lovingly peer pressuring) me to take the plunge. It was beyond worth it!
How do you pump yourself up at conferences? Are you immune to Cold Feet? What's your trick? And I'm still waiting to hear about that laugh!