Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm not nervous

Really. I'm not.

(You buying this?)

Okay. Fine. I'm nervous. As hell, actually. My plane leaves tomorrow morning at 6 (Ack! Why do all my flights leave at the crack of dawn?) for New York City and the Writer's Digest Conference at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in midtown Manhattan.

Let's say it together, shall we? Oooohhhhhhh.

See, there's all these literary agents who are going to be there, and I plan to pitch my book to any of them who will listen. I've been busy honing my pitch (more or less) and polishing the manuscript for the eleven-thousandth time and ... I think I'm ready.

Or, as ready as I can be with a raging case of the Oh Shits. As in, oh shit I can't believe I am putting myself through this. Really.

And to make things more interesting, things are exploding in my other career and this weekend is shaping up as one the most important in the 11 years I've been with the company. It's huge and it requires my full attention. Which I can't give, because I will be in NYC pitching my novel, which is also kind of huge.


My wife designed business cards for me and gave them to me for my birthday last week. They are totally, completely awesome! Me. A writer! I am, because my shiny new business cards SAY I am. I plan on handing those babies out like condoms in a free clinic.

As time allows, I'll post some blog updates from the conference. There's also going to be real-time Twitter updates from the attendees and agents. Use the hashtag #wdc11 to find us.

Friday night will feature a workshop led by Janet Reid on pitches, and I'm going to be there, front and center, soaking it up. She had asked for volunteers to give their pitch so she could critique it, but anyone with the nickname Query Shark ain't getting her fins on me. No way, no how. Just thinking about it gives me the willies.

There's going to be nearly 500 writers there from four continents and 57 literary agents. That should make for some major league networking. While I tend toward anti-social (like many writers), I always seem to rise to the occasion when I need to be charming and all that. Let's hope I can pull it off once again, when it counts most.

Wish me luck, especially from 3-5 p.m. EST Saturday, when I will be engaged in the writer's version of speed-dating -- spending 90 seconds pitching my baby to some of the most powerful and influential agents in the heart of the literary capital of the world.

Me? Nervous? No way.


  1. Good luck, Terry.

    Don't overthink it. You know your book. You love your book. You know what to say to make others love your book.

    (And you don't have to fear the Query Shark. She's very helpful, and you really don't feel much past the first chomp anyway :-P )

  2. You're going to do great! I went to a similar conference last year and it was nerve wracking - but it was so worth it. Put yourself out there and don't take anything too personally. Talk to everyone and HAND OUT THOSE CARDS!

  3. Good luck! Be brave, have fun, network every which way. No worries, you'll learn something regardless....

  4. Hey, I've been ripped to shreds by Janet, and trust me, it's totally worth it. Just remain calm...

    ****manic laughter****

    ...and you'll get through it just fine.

  5. Good Luck Terry. You'll do fine. I sure wish I was going with you.


  6. I hope you enjoy it. Have your one sentence pitch down?

  7. YAY! Go get 'em!!! You'll be awesome.

  8. Hey Terry? Holy Shit! I'm nervous FOR you. But I'm also excited for you. I think it's huge that you even stepped out of your comfort zone to show up at such an intimidating event.

    But this is it Terry. Another first for something. Enjoy every moment of being nervous, afraid and new because you will never be able to do this for your first time again.

    Pay attention to everything, be in the moment and take it all in, because there will come the day when this becomes old hat and you'll wish for the adrenaline rush of being new.

    I am so happy that you're there. I know how hard it must have been (mentally) just to get there. Congratulations on showing up to your life.

    I hope you let us know how it's going while your there and don't keep me in suspense because after all Terry, when it all comes down to it, it is all about me. ;)

    Have fun!