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I survived my first writers’ conference.

Last Thursday I drove to Muncie, where I met up with two Twitter friends Rena @originallyrena and Jamie @Jamie_Adams22, and attended class after class after class. Wow!

I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea how I would react. And my reaction was not what I ever would have guessed.

Let me begin by explaining… I did not sign up for a query or manuscript critique or to pitch to an agent. I was looking for a low stress experience. The agents were great. They weren’t set before us and then whisked away under heavy guard, but mingled among us, ate with us, chatted. Seriously, did those brave souls feel at all like prey? When an agent asked to sit at our table after dinner one night, we nearly fell out of our chairs. The faculty was amazing, always willing to talk, to share what they know. Our knowledgeable teachers burst with insights and facts.

By the end of Friday, my head buzzed.

By the end of Friday, I wondered what the heck I thought I was doing mingling with all the cool. I am not cool.

By the end of Friday, the amount of talent in the room made me want to curl up in a corner. Listening to the agents, I suddenly realized they would never want to represent me. I slipped further into a dark place the more words of wisdom shuffled into my head.

This was the last thing I expected. Granted I had no clue how I would react. I hoped for more of a “Yea for all the info! I can do anything! I am ready to write!” But sadly, no. I was overwhelmed. I was intimidated.

I questioned the very idea that I could be a writer.

Weird. I know. And my dear friends jumped to my side telling my I was crazy. I was a writer.

I am a writer.

One of a writers’ constant companions is self-doubt. Tucked away in my living room cut off from the world, I shove the doubt in a dark corner, but faced with the plethora of writers out there in the real world…

ALL looking for that agent…

ALL looking for that book deal…

ALL hoping and wishing and having SO MUCH TALENT…

The demons hiding in the shadows of my mind jumped into the light, waving their twisted limbs and flashing evil grins.

I listened to every piece of wisdom. I talked to other writers (yes, people I didn’t know!). I had a good time. I learned writerly stuff. I was lucky to get to hang out with my Twitter buddies and get to know them better.

I arrived home with my mind spinning and my little friend self-doubt sitting on my shoulder. But I don’t have time for him and all his depressing talk.

I have blogs to do, tours and a review. I have two stories to edit for Reuts. I have a manuscript to revise ONE LAST TIME before pitchwars and sending it off into the world. I have a story to write for the PEN and MUSE blog for their haunted house collection. Ahem… Sign up for that it sounds SO FUN! I am waiting to hear about a short I sent off months ago. I am waiting to hear about a ms.

So self-doubt… GO AWAY!

I am a writer. Without the words I would be nothing.

Anyone else, dear readers, who have had a strange reaction to things like writers’ conferences? Or is it just me?

FYI- I have begun to reread HP to make myself feel better. And there is chocolate.