How to Pitch When I Can’t Throw

A writers’  conference will be happening in the city by the end of the month.  I wanted to go, was planning on going.  I cancelled my plans to go to the National Book Festival so that I could save money towards attending this local writers’ conference.  When I tried to register for the conference, though, I realized that the cost was too high for me to attend.

Oh well… I thought….there’s always next year.

Which is a good thing.  I’m not ready to pitch my novel.  And as much as I would love to attend the writing classes being offered, I still figured that I was nowhere close enough to really reap the rewards that would be offered by attending this year’s conference.

I closed my computer, gave up on that moment, and went for a walk, maybe even a run.  I don’t remember.

This week, though, God seemed to think that maybe I needed a blessing…

Or three….possibly more.  I really have lost count.  And, no, I’m not being over-dramatic or exaggerating.

Earlier this week, I was in the hall chatting with my supervisor when one of my colleagues approached me.  She had a scholarship to attend the conference, due to unforeseen reasons, she wasn’t going to be able to attend.

Would you like to go?”

I really was breathless.  I will admit, I struggled not to cry, not to even look like I was about to cry.  Because I really wanted to gobut I didn’t have the money.

I don’t have any pages to pitch,” I confessed.

“It’s okay.  You can still give your idea, pitch your ideas, your plot.  Who knows, you might get picked up.”

I hugged her, which was mildly awkward because I know she doesn’t care for hugging.  And as she walked down the hall to go to the parking lot, I turned to my supervisor, humbled, flabbergasted.

I was going to the writers’ conference after all.  And this scholarship means that I can still take the classes.

I can still meet with agents.

I will confess, I nearly started to hyperventilate.  No.  Not really.  But I had to do some serious yoga breathing to try and push the anxiety down into the reaches of my toes.

I’m used to dreaming.  I’m good at dreaming.  I’m good at starting the process of chasing the dream.  But the actual prospect of fulfilling the dream…suddenly things became terrifying.

I am terrified.  And I don’t know why.  I know this novel.  I know it inside and out.  Forwards and backwards.  And even though I started reworking it again today, I still know this book.  I made some changes today that are truly satisfying and help make sense of actions that felt nonsensical before.

I love this novel.  It’s my baby.  It is a product of love and work.  It is hours and hours and hours.

And suddenly, I’m doing it again.  I’m chasing my dream and sending it out to the world and I know that I will meet with rejections again.  And I’m ready.  I’m ready.  I truly ready for this.

And I’m terrified and I don’t know why other than I will have to talk to a stranger and that is always nerve wracking.  Most of all, I just don’t know why I’m terrified but I am and that creates an even heavier sense of frustration.

This weekend, I’m putting the grading to the side.  I might go hiking.  I might take my computer to the mountains and order tea and sit in a restaurant and stare at the changing world and write and write and write.  I might travel to the town where the novel is set.

I haven’t decided.

But I have decided that I am going to pursue this dream, in spite of my anxiety.  I am going to chase this down as hard as I can.


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