Before you head to a writer's conference, take a moment to face your fears. Most likely, you will have an opportunity to pitch your manuscript to an agent, or editor or publisher. Deep breath here. It's nerve-wracking when your hard work collides with a potential sale.
The possibilities are exhilerating, yet self-doubt sneaks in and destroys confidence and self-esteem. One way to regain your equilibrium is to acknowledge those fears.
"I suck as a writer," "This is a waste of time," "What was I thinking?" "I'm not ready for this!" "I've spent too much money already." "I'm a fool for trying..."
All those thoughts swirling in your head are distractions from the purpose of your mission - to attend a writer's conference and talk to folks in the publishing world. Consider the small child afraid of the monster under the bed; only after looking under said bed does the child feel better. He's confirmed there are no monsters under the bed or in the closet. He's checked! He feels so much better and calms right down.
Take the advice of the small child. Face your fears. Yes, you are a writer and a worthy one, you've had your work proofed and reproofed. You are a good writer! This is not a waste of time, this is another step closer to your goal. You will not reach your goal if you do not move toward it! You were thinking as a writer and yes, you are ready for this. Even rejections will help you learn how to improve your writing skills. As for money, everything costs too much, at least you know this money went toward reaching your goal. As for being a fool, you're in good company. Dreamers and fools make wonderful friends and enjoyable company.
Once your mind is clear of self-doubt it is so much easier to concentrate on making your pitch. Give yourself five words that can spiral into conversation. These five words serve as springboards to conversation about your plot, yourself or perhaps a sequel or series. It's easier to remember simple words over full sentences. If you have a great opening for conversation, remember to deliver it in a casual way. Excited, too. Excitement for your work will enliven others to become interested as well.
One last thought before you talk to a potential buyer. As you pass through the door to sit a moment with an agent or editor, consider this a step into a circle of comraderie. There are no monsters under the table or behind the door. I know, because I already checked.
Til next time ~