Monday, January 16, 2012

Calling anyone who's been to a writing conference!

I'm taking the plunge in 2012. I'm going to my first writing conference. Just the thought of meeting with an agent face to face while they listen to me blab on about my story makes me want to curl up in a ball.

The thing is, when I go on job interviews, I get so nervous I lose control of everything that comes out of my mouth. I'm not the best at thinking on my feet when they spring random questions on me. I panic. I don't exactly lie... but I do pretty much feel like I'm making things up just so I'm saying something instead of sitting there going UUUHHHHH..........

Meeting with an agent sounds like a job interview times a gazillion. I won't even be ready for one until this summer, but I'm already nervous about it (though I hope a lot of that is because I haven't even written my query yet, thus, I have NO CLUE what my pitch will be).

Have you been to a writing conference? Did you meet with an agent? Did they put you at ease right away or did you blabber on without much control?

12 comments:

  1. I'm also planning on going to my first conference this summer. I've got almost six months before the conference, but the thought of standing within a few feet of an agent let alone talking to one makes my legs go all shaky. I wish I had any words of wisdom for you, but at least you know you're not alone in your terror:)

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  2. Hahaha! You sound so like me. I was TERRIBLE at public speaking in school. I just said whatever popped in my head that I hoped sounded relevant. It rarely ever was...I'm probably gonna have the word vomit if I ever pitch like that too. Good luck!!! Never been to one, but I hear they are SO worth it!

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  3. I wish I could help you. I've been to conferences, but haven't had agent critiques. I just went to a conference ending yesterday, and the agents and editors were approachable, same as with other conferences.

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  4. The conference I went to it was asked that you don't just hunt down and agent and force your stuff on them (not in those terms exactly, but that was the gist). If you are talking about something and they ask about it, have your query letter or something on hand, but ONLY pull it out if they ask first. But some of the agencies or editors will sometimes allow you to submit to them directly...a few at mine did that.

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  5. I've only been to one writer's conference (as a speaker) and to Book Expo - where I did sit down with an agent's assistant. It was completely by accident (I just happened to wander into the agents section and no one stopped me) and I wasn't really that nervous. Those people are usually really nice, so don't stress too hard about it.

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  6. OOoooooo which one are you going to???

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  7. Oh so cool! Good luck- which conference is it? I haven't been to one- gosh, I think I'd be too chicken, lol. But I'd love to go someday....I'm sure everyone feels like that. Just make sure you kind of rehearse what you are going to say so you won't be too caught off guard :)

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  8. I have not been to a conference, but I did attend a retreat where we practiced pitching to an agent. It was a cool experience. My advice would be to make a pitch, run it by writer friends multiple times and then practice, practice, practice saying it (not spewing it out at an unsuspecting agent, lol, but in a casual, comfortable, conversational way).
    For me, having practiced something bolsters my confidence. :0)
    Good luck!

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  9. jealous! I can't wait to attend my first conference. I wish I had some tips for you. I guess have fun is the best I can do.

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  10. I've been to writing conferences, but never sat down in front of an agent. Hopefully this year. :)

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  11. Which one are you going to?? Wanted to see if we'll ever intersect IN REAL LIFE :)

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  12. I'm so excited for you to go to a conference! It's a wonderful experience. I never did pitch to an agent, but yeah, I would feel very nervous doing that, too. :) It's almost better to go in with the goal of forming relationships instead of *pitching* - unless you sign up for a pitch session, I guess. Ooooh, best of luck!

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