Last Sunday, I mentioned that I would be meeting Jen from Devourer of Books in Dearborn, Michigan this upcoming weekend to attend the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association trade show. We finalized our plans last week, and I am more excited than ever. However, with this excitement comes just a
tremendous wee bit of nervousness.
This is my first book-related event, outside of one blogger meet-up and one small book festival. The fact that this is a trade show has me scared. Why? It’s simple: small talk. This is one area in which I perpetually struggle, and the idea of me surrounded by hundreds of strangers, let alone authors, has me wanting to lock myself into my hotel room and hide. I don’t do small talk. I never know what to say or how to make an awkward situation more comfortable. Instead, I either sit in silence or make an awkward situation more awkward. Add in the pressure of having to present myself as a blogger, marketing what I do and who I am and you add an entirely new layer of stress to the mix. Another thing I do not do well: market myself. Even my former boss recognized that I struggle to play up my strengths in conversations. And don’t get me started on the appropriate dress for this event. That adds an entirely new layer of stress. This trade show may be the death of me!
Yet, I really cannot wait to go. Besides the fact that I get a weekend away from the family, away from having to dash here and there, ensuring all uniforms are ready and worn properly, various supporting equipment is packed and ready to go, let alone that everyone has water, seats, adequate clothing for the weather…you get my point…I am looking forward to spending time with Jen and with trying to see if I can work through some of my fears and awkwardness. If I truly want to do something with my writing, this weekend will give me the opportunity to put out feelers and make those important connections. It will be a challenge, but I am not one to shy away from challenges.
Now, if only I could find to overcome the butterflies.