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Insecurity & New Things

Insecurity: Is it the lack of confidence?

I have always considered myself a fairly confident person. Fortunately, I don't  have a fear of public speaking. It would be easy to attribute this to my career as a trial attorney, but I've never experienced much of a public speaking fear. It is probably related as much to my childhood as my career choice. I grew up with five (5) brothers and four (4) sisters. Yup, you read that, correctly- ten of us all together. My wonderful, blended family included, halves, wholes and steps, but at one time or another we all lived in the same house.

They are all older, with the exception of my two younger sisters. Before the oldest began college, one right after another, on weekends our home felt more like a dormitory than a family home. On any given weekend, we all had one or more friend spend the night. At our house, simply asking a sibling to pass the potatoes or asking (shouting, rather) an older sister to get off the telephone (I realize that I am showing my age here, but I grew up in a pre-cell phone, pre- Internet, era) was an act of public speaking.

Which brings me to the topic of this post. Today is the first Wednesday, of the month, hence it is once again time for Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group, {IWSG}.

 I am feeling particularly and exceptionally insecure this month. Why? Because I am attending my first, ever, writers conference, next week. Why would this make me, suddenly, experience a debilitating, wave of panic? I don't know, but I know that it has.

I have longed to attend a writing conference, dreamed of it, saved for it, begged my husband to go with me, and is here...and what happens? I feel pangs of insecurity. I didn't expect this. I was rather surprised when the feeling overtook me this week.

I mean it's not like, I am the first person to ever attend a writer's conference, for the first time. I'm not the only writer, forging into a hotel full of authors, agents and publishers, without a clue what to do or how to act. I'm not being unrealistic. I know this conference does not somehow, magically, determine whether or not I am talented enough to become a published author.  I know that I will enjoy myself. I know that I will meet interesting people. I know that I will make new friends. I know that I will learn boatloads of information that I never could have learned without attending. I realize that this is a wonderful opportunity to mingle, learn and make contacts.

So what the hell is wrong with me and why am I suddenly insecure? Why do I feel like a wet noodle or a lump of silly putty?

How about you? Did any of you feel insecure before your first writer's conference? Did the feeling vanish, once you arrived and got the feel of things? Please share your writing conference experiences. The good, the insecure and the fabulous. I really need to hear them.

Are any of you attending the San Francisco Writers Conference?


Melissa Sugar said...

No, but I think Mark Koopmans is! You should check out his blog - I know he's flying to California for a conference next week.
You're nervous because it's new territory for you as far as WHAT you'll be talking about. Practice your pitch, know your material, and the rest will come natural. I know you can do it!

Melissa Sugar said...

Alex is right, you can totally do this!!

 I get nervous before anything like that... meetings, work conferences, dinners... I'm just shy, though... but in the end, (as long as I have a two drink limit *lol*) it always turns out just fine. I'm a nauseous wreck on the way, but the minute I'm there and start mingling, I relax and soon I'm actually having fun. :)

Have a great conference! :)

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine it is because this is something youre really passionate about and therefore naturally are wanting everything to go well. I can't begin to comprehend how excited you must feel. Have a fantastic time.

Melissa Sugar said...

Attending a writing conference sounds like so much fun. There's so much to learn and share, with like-minded people. Just relax and have a good time. You've been waiting for this, so smile and enjoy the moment!

Melissa Sugar said...

That sounds like a lot of fun. Never even considered one, to be honest

Melissa Sugar said...

I feel insecure on a fairly regular basis... it seems the more I enjoy something, the more insecure I am about it, because then it MATTERS. 

Melissa Sugar said...

I haven't yet attended my first writer's conference mostly because of time constraints, work demands, and children's needs. I imagine that I'd feel much the way you do in that it's a new world and there are a lot of people there with more experience in the industry as well as there just being a lot of strangers there (for me that would be pretty tough).

I'm hoping to attend a writing panel at Megacon in a few weeks which may be for me just as nerve wracking. 

Melissa Sugar said...

HI, Melissa,

Nice to meet you....

I attended my first conference in NYC last year at the SCBWI. I didn't know one blogger or writer attending. I was a wreck. But the second I walked into the elevator this charming and attractive you woman started talking to me. SO bubbly and excited her enthusiasm and sweet smile put me at ease instantly. We hung out for the three days and I had a BLAST.

So don't worry. The writing community is a very FRIENDLY and AMAZING family.

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