This morning I woke up, anxiously awaiting what I hope will be the start of an amazing career in the literary field. Well,actually, the anxiously awaiting part happened later on in the day. You see, I accidentally set my alarm for 7:00pm, rather than 7:00am, causing me to wake up at 8:30 in the morning, with less than an hour before having to leave my apartment for the airport. I scrambled to pack for my weekend trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City, and made my way out of the apartment fifteen minutes behind schedule. With just that background, it should come as no surprise that I got off at the wrong exit on the highway, went to the security checkpoint in the opposite direction of where my terminal was, nearly missed my flight by just a few minutes, and did so all while lugging a small carry-on bag with my over 300 page manuscript and numerous copies of book proposals to hand out to prospective agents throughout the weekend.
After a turbulence-filled flight, and a cab ride costing nearly a weeks salary to the hotel where the conference was taking place, I finally reached my destination. Once I checked into my room and settled in, what would take anyone else five minutes to get ready, took me forty five. Every time I tied my tie, it would either end up being too short oftoo long. My hands were shaking, and my digestive system was trying to process all of the nerves flowing through my stomach, but there were too many to control. When I was in fact able to completely dress my self, I couldn’t help but feel accomplished (I know… my mom should be so proud), as I made my way to the meeting hall on the second floor. I picked up my name tag, scanned through each of the booths outside the conference room, and finally walked in to a room filled with writers from all over the world. Needless to say I was one of the youngest ones in there, but I quietly took my seat at a table with other writers, and was greeted with the question all writers love to answer, “So, what kind of books do you write?” Wow. No one had ever asked me such a writer-like question before, so I proudly responded, “Nonfiction,” and the conversation took its course from there.
The welcoming seminar commenced, and for the next three hours, we learned the proper way to write about oneself without sounding egotistical, how to make it as a writer in the 21st century, and the most important of the three- how to pitch your book to literary agents. Seeing astomorrow afternoon we have three hours to meet with over sixty of the country’s best literary agents, and less than three minutes each time to do so, you can imagine how many writers were taking note on each and every tip given to us by the speaker. Once the above seminars concluded, we were released for the day, free to do as we pleased.
So, here I am in one of the hotel’s restaurants, looking around, observing the ways of all the other writers here, as if they are some kind of prized game animal. Some eat their meals quietly with a glass of wine or beer in hand, while looking over the list of agents who will be present at the Pitch Slam tomorrow, as others write on every writer’s stereotypical notepads or type all their thoughts and ideas onto their laptops. Thinking to myself that anyone and everyone here has the power and potential of becoming a published author in the near future, it’s unreal to think, here I am, in New York City, trying to launch my writing career.
I can’t predict how tomorrow’s seminars or meetings with the agents will turn out, but one thing is for sure. For the first time in my life, I actually feel like a writer, and quite frankly, it feels pretty good.