Current Project: Many
Status: Still sane
This month's topics are both ones that make me cringe.
Conferences mean I have to leave my safety zone and go out among people I've never met or barely know and try and appear approachable when all I want to do in a room full of people is become invisible. It isn't in my nature to walk up to strangers and start talking. That's my husband's job. He does it well. He can strike up a conversation with anyone. I can't. I try every time I go to a conference. I push myself at least one day to make conversation with someone and I get nauseous just getting up the nerve to do it. I think of all the things I could say and then just sit there my tongue numb and my brain frantically trying to find a way out.
Now if I go into a workshop I'm teaching, I know what I'm going to talk about and I know the information so I feel confident. But to just strike up a conversation... what if they talk about something I haven't a clue about? What if they ask me a writing question that anyone up on publishing should know and I don't know the answer? Because most likely I don't since I don't focus my minimal brain space on that kind of thing. I focus on my writing craft and not all the politics. What if all they ask me is where I'm from and what I write? Whew... I can answer that but my overactive imagination can conjure up all the other scenarios as I sit there my hands sweating worrying how to start up a conversation. Yep, that's my neurotic self at a conference.
And pitching... I can have that sucker practiced and say it over and over in my head and out loud but someone ask me to tell them my pitch..Whoosh- it slips from my mind like a jewel thief, not even leaving fingerprints.
I hope you're much better at handling your nerves and hanging onto your sanity than I am. Are you social at conferences or would you be battling with me for the chair in the dark corner?