From Terrified to Teaching: My Writer's Con Journey

Apparently, I'm a hand talkerThis weekend I had the privilege of attending the DFW Writer's Conference. It's a fabulous con and one of the biggest in the area, so if you ever have a chance to come, I suggest you do. 

Three years ago DFW Con was the very first writer's conference I ever attended. I was a brand spanking new writer. I had just finished my first manuscript (the YA that now has permanent residence in the depths of my hard drive) and I was ready to absorb every ounce of information I could.

And I was freaking terrified. 

I'm an introvert and was still coming to terms with calling myself a "writer" out loud. So walking into a room with hundreds of people, some who REALLY knew what they were doing and were already published, was one of the most intimidating situations I'd ever been in. So I went into recluse mode, sitting at a table, simultaneously hoping someone would talk to me and worrying about what I would say if they did.

And of course, I quickly discovered that though we're often the "quiet ones", writers are some of the friendliest people out there. Plus, get us talking about books or writing and we don't shut up. So I ended up managing a few conversations and met some other people. Apparently, I wasn't going to be allowed to survive in "just go to the classes and not socialize mode". :)

I also remember being completely in awe of the published authors and the people teaching the classes. I was too nervous to talk to them. I mean--hell, they had actual books in actual stores. But I sat there like a sponge, absorbing all the fabulous info (and realizing--oh crap, I have done a lot wrong with my book, lol.)

I left that conference completely overwhelmed and totally inspired. (And it turned me into a total confernce junkie.)

So fast forward to this year and I found myself at DFW Con for the third time. But this time, instead of being the girl who was afraid to talk to a published author, I was a published author. And instead of the shy girl who was freaked out by a crowd, I was the one in front of all those people, teaching. (And enjoying it--imagine that, lol.)

Total outer body experience. 

I know I'm still at the beginning of my publishing journey, but having that kind of full circle moment was pretty amazing. 

So thank you to DFW Con for inspiring me three years ago and making me feel welcome. And thank you for inviting me this year to teach a few classes.

And most of all, thank you to every writer who came to my classes, asked great questions, and made this shy girl feel at ease in front of a group. You rock. :)

(Oh, and for those of you who bought my book: *tackle hug*)

Have you ever had a full circle moment? Have you ever been the shy guy/girl at a conference? What was your first writer's conference experience like?