Friday, June 3, 2011

Backspace Lesson #1 - MINGLE!

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Backspace gave me the opportunity to mingle with published and unpublished authors, agents, and other professionals in publishing.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 It was the exceptional unpublished authors who boosted my confidence.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!

-Marie

7 comments:

Zan Marie said...

I've got such cold feet, I backed out of a planned conference this summer. To be truthful, it's due to my lingering asthma problem. But I don't feel able to mingle, pitch, or anything else. I'm just amazed you went. Good job. I can't wait to heard everything.

Escape Artist said...

I'm so glad you had such a great time! Proof in the pudding is in the pages I recently read!! :)

Alleged Author said...

So glad you have people right behind you to guide you to confidence. I don't know that I'd have the ability to just walk up to a panel of agents either!

Laura said...

Glad to help, my friend. And, I for one, found your laugh to be charming... :o)

Andrew Leon said...

Tagged you on my blog this morning. Just so you know.

Koreen said...

No, you have a great laugh! And as far as pumping myself up for conferences and Korean food, that's a tough one for me. Weren't you the one who said 'hi' first? ;-)

Tonya said...

Your laugh was ADORBS & infectious! You did a great job stepping out of your comfort zone (whith a little nudge from Eliza and I, and a push from Laura :)! )