As many of you may know, I’ll be attending the ACFW Writers Conference in Denver next month. Over the years, I’ve been blessed with attending lots of conferences to the point that I now consider myself a bit of a veteran expert. At attending that is—not pitching my manuscript. While I’m comfortable talking with literary agents, editors, and publishers, I’m a big fraidy-cat when it comes to explaining what my story is about and then waiting for their responses.
In a one-on-one conversation with an agent, the moment I open my mouth tumbleweeds roll out and my tongue sticks to my gums. I usually sit there like a petrified doofus while the poor agent waits patiently for me to speak—move—or otherwise show signs of life. Inside my head, birds chirp and flitter about from one synapse to another and I wish, for that moment, that a body double could take my place and seal the deal.
Now, here’s the killer part. I’m usually a very confident person. I’ve met with big city mayors, high-ranking state officials, powerful CEOs and I’m fine. I manage to eat food without spitting on folks, and drink water without dribbling, and…you get the picture. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out what makes me so nervous about pitching my blasted novel. Honest to Pete!
At last, a teeny, tiny, little kernel of a reason has seeped into my consciousness. This novel, which is my first, is my baby. Who wants someone to call their baby grotesque? Who wants to watch people sprint from the church, at breakneck speed, when their baby is christened? I surely don’t! Do you?
But when you stop and think about it, pitching a novel concept or presenting a proposal for a manuscript that you’ve come to love is a lot like waiting for your baby to be accepted by the world or shunned into hiding. Dadgum it…that’s just the way it is.
The song, The Way It Is, by Bruce Hornsby and the Range says it perfectly. Somewhere in this fandangled WordPress program I’m supposed to be able to play music, but darn if I can figure out how it works. Thankfully, though, I found a video of Bruce and his band performing their classic song on “Good Morning America.”
Filed under: Writers Conference | Tagged: ACFW Writer's Conference, Bruce Hornsby, editors, LinkedIn, literary agents, pitching a manuscript, pitching a novel, pitching a proposal, publishers, Writers Conference |