I’ve never had a problem drifting off to dreamland. People used to say I’m like a cat. Curl me up and I’m out. But since last week, when I signed up to attend the San Francisco Writers Conference to pitch my book to agents, my thoughts haven’t stopped racing. There’s the pitch to prepare for – three precious minutes to sell myself and my manuscript. There are agents to research, a first chapter to perfect, and a title to finally commit to without obsessing about wanting to change it later, among a long list of other tasks.
So night after night, I wake up and hear my rapidly beating heart against the early morning stillness. I take deep breaths and remind myself that all these thoughts can wait. I relax my eye muscles. I flop into another position and try to empty my mind. Then I look at the clock. Again.
I’m beyond thrilled to get the chance to fly across the country, stay in a swanky hotel, and have the chance to network with people who love words as much as I do. My challenge is to let that excitement overshadow the pressure that comes with wanting something so desperately that it starts to eat you up.
Though I got only five hours of shut-eye last night, this weekend has been a blessing. My friend Sue, who is also working on a book, has come to my house for an overnight retreat. Yesterday we wrote for eight hours before admitting we needed to say goodnight. This morning I’m reading over my first chapter before deciding whether to go with a new design for my business cards.
Time for a break, though, to walk my dog. I’m fairly certain I know what I’ll be thinking about along the way.
Have experience with pitch conferences? If so, please share!
(Comments posted prior to 4/10/15 can be found here.)