Friday, January 21, 2011

NOW I'm nervous

I made it to the Writer's Digest Conference in New York (midtown Manhattan to be precise) in one piece, although I'm a bit droopy from lack of sleep.

The first night was low-key but exciting nonetheless. Famed NYC literary agent Richard Curtis gave the opening talk on the future of publishing, saying in a nutshell that books are by no means going extinct and that right now is both the most terrifying and the most exciting time in publishing history.

He also thinks the future will see a split between print-on-demand books and e-books. It was a very interesting talk that, while chronicling the tough times traditional publishing is going through, ended up offering that finest of emotions -- hope. Let's hope he's correct.

Many of us then walked a few blocks to a nearby pub for a Writer's Digest "Tweetup," which I guess is today's version of the old-fashioned meet-up. It was great fun and I met lots of interesting writers and folks within the industry. But man, was it cold walking back.

Tomorrow is the big day. Seminars and workshops all morning and then the Pitch Slam for two hours in the afternoon. Fifty-five agents (three canceled) will be sitting at tables in the hotel's main ballroom and we get three minutes to pitch our novel to them.

My pitch sucks. It really does. I imagine I will be polishing it right up until I sit down across from the first agent. Unless I pass out first, in which case I won't have to worry about having a lousy pitch.

I am tired. Perhaps you can tell. But I am also totally pumped about this weekend. The hotel is incredibly beautiful and located in the midst of some of the finest real estate in the world.

Life is both frightening AND good. And it doesn't get any better than that.

More tomorrow, hopefully after a good night's sleep. Wish me luck.


  1. My thoughts will be with you...

    And by the way, if you do happen to pass out, you'll be in big trouble with your blogger friends. Me included. You have been warned.

    I'm sure your pitch is wonderful, Terry!

    Now, get some sleep for goodness sake and keep us posted :)

  2. I said it all in the comment prior to this one, I'm sticking with that.

    You'll do great, but I can't imagine sitting in front of all those people pitching anything to be honest with you.

    I'm so excited for you and glad you showed up.

    You're in my thoughts. Keep us updated.

  3. You'll do great, Terry. Just remember you're in a room (or rooms) full of people who actually want you to succeed.

    And I second what Wendy said. You are not allowed to pass out. I'm not exactly sure what threat I can offer from down here in Texas, but I'll think of something.


  4. Psssst.

    If you read your comments before you go out there today, pop over to J. Reid's blog for quick pointers on how to prepare for the pitch.

  5. Good luck! I'm sure you'll do great!

  6. You sound like a teenager before prom. Man up, boy!

    Totally teasing. I'd be a mess. In fact, I'd be talking myself out of it and just drink all weekend in the bar, make a spectacle out of myself, then vomit (accidentally) on Janet Reid's shoes.