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July 15, 2014

A few weeks ago, BF walked in and tossed a copy of the Ball State Alumnus on the kitchen counter.  “Thought you might be interested in this.”

It was open to a two-page spread for an upcoming event . . . “Launchpad for Writing Careers . . . Midwest Writers Workshop.”

Exciting stuff!

The next morning I invested in research, followed prompts, carefully selected workshops, signed up for a 3-minute pitch session with an agent, a query letter critique, and paid tuition.  I boldly entered the Manny writing contest by mailing a 5-page manuscript to the proper address.  I booked three nights’ lodging at the student center.  Done.  Before I could chicken out.

Over the next few weeks, I received emails: “Did you intend to . . . ?”  “We did not receive your . . .”  “Just for clarification . . .”  Everything was too new.  Too many different categories and titles and I screwed up just about everything!  One kind person, who after communicating by email with me for several days, wrote “These types of conferences can feel a bit overwhelming at first, so just breathe deeply and take in what you can.”

That was weeks ago and now it’s time to head to Muncie and face this intimidating-as-hell-music. Come 8:30 Thursday morning, I must step into a room full of aspiring and published authors who truly understand hash tags, agents and queries, and run on a faster wavelength than I do. They will have been devouring books all their lives and will possess recall of author’s names and subscribe to all the right blogs and tweets and will no doubt be highly connected with the publishing “in crowd” on Facebook and LinkedIn.

I, a newly-retired-English-teacher-aspiring-young-middle aged-author, who desires quiet reflection and extended writing sessions in her sun-drenched home office, who recently celebrated her first Instagram post and owns 3 tweets and no Facebook, will join the crowd.  (By the way, have you ever noticed how the word aspiring is always connected to the word young?)

Two hours, I spent this morning, figuring out the guidebook app for the conference and creating the “My Schedule” page on my iPhone.  Sample tweet from the guidebook link: “Who all will be at #MWW14?  I can’t wait to see everyone!”  I suppose I could tweet back “i am.”  But then she’d tweet “now, who are you?” Or even worse, not respond.

The nitty-gritty details regarding one of my workshops read, “Each author will be granted time to read 3 pages aloud to the group.”  Holy shit!  What have I done?

Well, here’s the deal.  I’m organizing my schedule so I don’t miss any of my appointments or classes, packing my unpublished manuscript and writing samples, hiring my angels, printing off what I think I could actually read aloud to a group, preparing myself for constructive criticism, and then I will breathe–just like the lady said–I will breathe.  And I will hold my head high and take in what I can.

P.S. Just realized I jumped the gun a bit. Conference is actually NEXT Thursday rather than in two days.  Whew!  More time to breathe.

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1 Comment

  1. P.S. Just realized I jumped the gun a bit. Conference is actually NEXT Thursday. Whew!


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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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