Friday, May 20, 2011

The kicking stops here

I feel like a college student who didn't get her homework done and is playing hookie from class. Not only did I not get the homework done, I didn't read the instructions on the syllabus to see what the homework even was. And had I read the syllabus, I probably wouldn't have enrolled in the class in the first place. But no, here I am, having basically enrolled in Spanish 5 without finishing Spanish 1. Except it's not a language class, it's a writer's conference.

Yep, I signed up several months ago for a writer's conference. I did it in typical Amber fashion: felt inspired, saw the opportunity, skimmed through the promotional info, and committed myself. The classic cliche: it just seemed like a great idea at the time. I heard "writer's conference" and thought, I'm a writer, surely I'll learn something! I saw the title of this year's conference - "Living your story" - and it fit so well with where I'm at in life and in my writing. Perfect. I just neglected to read the rest.

So last night, again in typical Amber fashion (the conference starts today), I hopped on a computer at the library to see what time this conference actually starts and how I get there and what the agenda actually is. I finally located the schedule of events and felt my confidence and enthusiasm drain into the library floor as I read. Today, the first day, is all about preparing to meet an editor or snag an agent. Certainly something I could learn from, except, it's not just blending into a large group of anonymous writers listening to a speaker. They want us to sign up for group editorial appointments to prepare for meeting with potential editors. They want us to make appointments for critique sessions with a published author - as in, critiquing our manuscripts. They want us to bring our query letters, book chapters, and articles to the table. And I feel like kicking myself, because I have none of these. None. I'm still in level one.

So I'm playing hookie today. Even though I've already paid for this conference. Because the sun is shining in full force. Because I don't want to go and feed my natural inclination to kick myself for being unprepared, comparing myself to those more advanced ones who have their stuff together. I'm not going to go there, not today. The kicking stops here.

I may have been impulsive, but it was out of inspiration and hope that I signed up for this thing in the first place. So I'll enjoy the sunshine today, I'll go sit and listen to a speaker tonight, and I'll show up for the sessions tomorrow. I will learn something, and I will enter into the moments, and I will not kick myself for not being further along in this journey of writing.

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