Now, our paths are as varied as the experiences that have brought us to the point we are today. Some of you may have attended many conventions and conferences, some may have tried either one of them, or maybe, like me, neither.
Invariably, we all have heard of what a great resource this events are for building confidence, work on our craft, develop our selling aptitudes, and networking. However, I'm convinced that like any other experience in our life, the more you do it, the better you know how to take advantage of it. So, here is what I propose: I'll tell you my story, my reason for haven't attended one of these events yet, and I'd love to read of your experiences. Good, bad, or your own reason for still haven't tried. My goal is to make of this little entry a well of do's and don't's that will enrich all of us, helping first-timers and veterans alike to take full advantage of the unique opportunities that conventions bring.
In my case, I've been trying to pull resources from everywhere to get myself into one of the many conventions my publisher attends, but alas, the cost of feeding a family and paying a mortgage proved too much to allow space for another career in this family, other that my husband's.
I don't have any more copies of my book to sell on my own, and I simply can't pay hotel and food for the whole family, even if it's only for two days. Any of you mothers and fathers reading this will know that the most modest road trip with two young kids can add up quickly. "Then go by yourself!" you say...well, that's where my real problem comes in: Fear.
I'm afraid I'll look like an idiot who doesn't know what to do, where to go, what to say, or where to stand; completely out of place. Who will I talk to or what about? You see, I'm a shy and insecure person though most of my family and friends would consider me outgoing and easy to make friends. And I am. I'm all of those things. I'm shy and awkward with people I don't know and have a horribly hard time making small talk or saying hi for the first time, but if you come to me and start talking, I'll engage in an easy conversation and might even end up making a new friend. Still, I wished I had a writer buddy close enough for us to attend together. You know, like a comfy blankie.
I keep reminding myself that as the year began, I made myself a promise that this year I would challenge my fears and move out of my comfort zone. And even though chances are slim, I will still make my biggest most honest effort--and savings--to attend AnthoCon in Portsmouth, NH, the last 2012 convention for PostMortem Press. Wish me luck!