Pre-Conference Musings and the General Panic of Existence

Hi everyone, remember me? Lara Henerson, fiction writer? Yeah, it’s been a while…

You know what’s ironic? I just re-read the first post I ever posted on this blog, and it’s all about how I am terrible at sticking to resolutions, particularly of the blog-writing variety, but that “this time it would be different!” Spoiler alert: it wasn’t!

But you know what else struck me about that first entry? I sound exactly like the protagonist of my work in progress. Sophie Breitman is 27, underemployed, and desperate for some sort of outlet for all of that anxious energy the world is piling up on her. I myself may not be 27 anymore, but the feeling remains. I am still anxious to create, and to be recognized for it.

Which brings us to today, the-day-before-the-day-before my first writing conference. (The Southern California Writers Conference.) I’m currently in the frantic phase of the project, in which I entertain such thoughts as:

-What if I forget my wallet/passport and they don’t let me on the plane?

-What if I get a chance to speak with the agent of my dreams, and they dismiss me because my manuscript isn’t finished?

-What if my novel pitch is so wrongly formatted that I become the laughing-stock of the conference??

…and other such rational thoughts.

The good news though, is that I have nothing to lose. It’s unlikely to go so poorly that I’ll be blacklisted from the whole industry. Although knowing me, I could easily make an accidentally-offensive joke and only realize it twenty minutes later. But then again, that’s just one of the many hazards that go along with being Lara, so I should be used to it by now.

In any event, I’m actually quite excited, particularly for my ten-minute feedback session with an industry professional. (As well as appropriately terrified.)

Here’s the game plan: I’m going to don my most convincing extrovert face, and try to forgive myself for any silly mistakes I make. At best, I’ll make some contacts. At worst, I’ll be able to say I once took myself seriously enough to register for and attend a writers’ conference.

Wish me luck, anonymous readers! ❤





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