I have not interviewed in over 5 years and it is one of the worst things I can think of doing aside from accidentally nip-slipping in public. I do not like selling myself AT ALL and I have absolutely zero desire to sit and try to convince someone that I have a book they want to read or that I am someone they should want to represent/work with.
All I can picture right now, is how I will ramble, stutter and fidget my way through an awkwardly painful conversation. I can actually see the eyes of the agent/editor in front of me, waiting for our meeting to be over so they can move on to someone worthwhile.
There will be writers there that have done this countless times and who wear confidence in a way I never could. Am I confident? Yes, but put me in front of a stranger who I have to impress and I turn into a complete moron. Just thinking about it, I’m already so nervous that it’s making me dizzy and nauseous.
Do I have to do this? Absolutely, not! I could keep sending my query emails, I could self-publish and pay my previous editor to make sure my work looks good on paper. I do not have to force myself to do this thing that everything in my body screams NOT to do!
But, I’m going to. For the simple purpose of pushing myself beyond my own limitations. The rush that I get from doing something I had myself convinced I couldn’t or shouldn’t do, is something I won’t allow myself to miss out on. Doing these hard things can only make me a stronger writer, improve my sickening social anxiety and allow me to network outside of the walls of social media. Forming those in-person bonds is a priceless thing and I want to be able to say that I KNOW and have met the people I befriend online that are either where I want to be or working alongside me to get there as well.
It’s intimidating to say the least and that’s not a word I fling around lightly. I am pretty shy and it is a struggle to meet new people, however I’m not often intimidated because I like to think I live my life just as I want to. But, there’s a safety in that bubble and going outside of what’s comfortable and pushing myself to change lanes is going to be difficult.
All I can do, is prepare. Google is my best friend lately and I’ve got my list going on ways to prepare. What to bring, what to say and how to say it. I also asked advice of friends/writers who have been-there-dont-that. I don’t know how many of these opportunities I’ll get, so I need to appreciate this one and make the best of it. This can only serve as a great experience for me and I have to see this as a chance to network with “my people”.
I don’t know a lot of writers, personally. Not ones who are actively pursuing it, at least. I do feel fortunate to have connected with some and their advice, encouragement and shared struggles are invaluable. This is just another step into the process I have to take and even though, right now, I just want to throw my hands up and curl up on my couch with my notebook… I’m going to go and if I make an idiot of myself, so be it.
At least I tried!
But, one of my BIG goals, is to one day be a good enough writer that I can pay it forward and help the “me” as I have been helped along my journey. I want to be a window or door or, at the very least, a source of positivity that came just a tad quicker than happened for myself. I want my girls to see that no matter what you do, you need to make sure you’re really giving it your all and pushing a bit further each day.
E. Lockhart advised me to persist. And persist, I must. My passion will be greater than my fears.