Hey folks, I’m starting something new on this blog today: Fear Friday! The idea is that each week (or so) I’ll do something I’m a little bit afraid of (or a lot bit afraid of) and I’ll write about it. And seeing as I’m pretty much afraid of EVERYTHING, I’m thinking this is going to give me a whole bunch of things to write about.
Or it’s going to kill me.
Either way, really.
On my first day of high school, I showed up, not knowing a single soul besides my brother and some kid I had known since kindergarten who had once asked me to couple-skate in sixth grade, but I had turned him down because he had spikey hair, and, at the time, I felt like that was a totally a legit reason to turn someone down for my first ever couple-skate. I mean, I was going to remember that skate, foreevvver, you guys. (On a related note, I never did get asked to couple-skate again, so maybe I should have been a little less judgey on the spikey hair front.)
On my first day of high school, I showed up, wearing a home-made t-shirt be-dazzled with sequins and scraps of lace. In my defense, I had spent the previous eight years of my school existence in a Catholic school uniform, so how was I supposed to know that normal, non-uniformed humans don’t kick it in home-made, bedazzled t-shirts?
On my first day of high school, I prayed that someone, anyone would sit with me at lunch.
And that’s pretty much what I was praying when I stepped into my first ever writer’s conference the other week. That, and, please Lord, let there be coffee. Because it was really-early-o’clock in the morning, and I had woken up at even-earlier-o’clock to drive the hour to Grand Rapids to get to the conference, and I am not exactly the type of person who can talk to strangers without coffee at really-early-o’clock in the morning.
But what made me even more nervous than the whole lunch table thing and the potential lack of coffee thing was the worry that maybe people might find out that I wasn’t actually a writer.
I mean, sure, I write stuff. And, sometimes, I share that stuff here. And I’ve even been known to share that stuff elsewhere.
But that book I keep saying that I’m totally going to start working on?
Um, yeah, about that…
And those writing publications and contests that I keep telling myself that I’m going to submit stuff too?
Um, yeah, not so much.
But as the day progressed and I talked to more and more people about what they were writing or not-writing, I started to feel like maybe I wasn’t so alone on the whole not-feeling-like-an-actual-writer-while-at-a-writer’s-conference thing.
“I have a blog, but I’m not really a writer.”
“I’m a writer, but I haven’t published anything yet.”
“I published something, but it was for a really small publication.”
It was like my first day of high school all over again. But in this version everyone was wearing sequin-and-lace-bedazzled t-shirts and sporting spikey hair, but nobody was judging us for it.
And nobody had to sit by themselves at lunch because we were all in this scary thing together.
Have you ever been to a writer’s conference? How was it?