So, not much more than a month later, I’m off to another conference. I figured this would be good for me, I’ve felt kind of in a rut ever since I moved back to Washington, and since I got a discounted rate it definitely seemed worthwhile to sign up for Press Publish and head to a blogging conference. Not nearly as exciting as the San Francisco Writer’s Conference last month, but hopefully it’ll be worth my time and give me an excuse to hang out in Portland, spend some time with my Oregon friends, and decompress after all this editing. It’ll be a smart move to take a few days to sleep on everything I’ve done to my manuscript before sending it off again.
As usual, I’ll be jamming my professional clothes in my little red backpack, hopping a bus, and hoping for the best. Praise be to irons and friends with couches to crash on! I haven’t spent enough time in Portland, but just about everyone I do know in that city has given me an open invitation to stay with them whenever I’m in town, so I can’t imagine why I don’t head down more often. I feel sort of silly working out of a backpack and riding cheap Bolt Buses down to the event…it seems so strange that I could be mentally and professionally ready to use conferences like this to build my career when I can’t even reasonably afford a hotel room while I’m in town.
I’m really grateful to the friends who give me a place to crash and let me sleep on their couches so that I do have a chance to get up in the morning, iron my clothes, and project an image of utter professionalism and young success. I wonder if people stop and think about where I’m staying and what I do when I’m not pitching my projects and handing out business cards. I wonder if they’d care. So far, it seems like people either think I don’t have talent and don’t care, or they think I do have talent and they do care. It’s nice to know that some pockets of this world still value competency and a willingness to work for better things. If you watched the trending topics on Facebook all day, it’d be easy to lose sight of that.
I’m also not entirely sure how helpful this will be for me. I’m betting that the vast majority of individuals in attendance will be non-fiction writers. Who knows though? Even if there’s no one in my particular industry, it never hurts to have friends all over the board. So, even though I’ve got a few of those seasoned butterflies dancing in my stomach, I’m pretty confident and just generally excited to take off for another nice weekend and reaffirm, yes, this is what I do, this is who I am, this is what I’m good at.
I’ve always said the best function of these sorts of events is renewing my enthusiasm and boosting my confidence in myself. Everything feels so much more real when you’re surrounded by some physical manifestation of your desire to write and reach people.