The Missouri Writers' Guild tag line? The Professional Writing Organization for Writers in Missouri.
'Tis true, I was paid a big $10 for my story in A Shaker of Margaritas: Hot Flash Mommas - so, technically, it makes me a professional, right? And I do have fifteen years' experience as a technical writer, where real companies (a few you may have heard of) paid me a decent wage for writing manuals and online Help for software and hardware.
I'm a dues-paying member of two local writing groups.
I DO live in Missouri.
Why do I feel like I don't belong there?
Who am I kidding? I'm not a novelist! I don't have publishers courting me to produce a culturally significant work of fiction.
I wouldn't know how to write a query letter if my life depended on it.
I don't have a volume of angst-ridden, deeply personal poetry to display. My last poem? A silly little thing about a time bomb!
I'm not published in newspapers and magazines, and I'm sure that my stint as Features editor at my high school paper (when we had to type on typewriters and paste the stories on poster board to be sent out for printing) means nothing in the whole scheme of things.
I'm not a SERIOUS writer. Sure, I like to write - it's fun. But I'm not looking to write 'my truth' - I don't have a burning need to put all my deep, dark secrets on paper. I don't have the answers to any of Life's big questions, and want to share my insight with the world.
I write silly stuff. Fluff and nonsense. Stuff about life here at the Cleaver compound.
So here I am, conference fees paid, feeling like a fraud.
Then I read that writers from TWELVE states have signed up...and that shy little girl inside of me is afraid.
Even the schedule (which you can view here) is intimidating right now.
I'm suffering from pre-conference attendee remorse.
Somehow, by April 8, I have to find my courage and boost my self-esteem.
I'll have to tell myself, over and over, that I CAN write well...that I just might have a story or two lurking about in my brain that people might pay actual money to read.
Funny and sick and twisted are the new black - that's what I'll tell myself.
There are some members of my writers' groups who read my blog...are you out there today? Are you going to the conference?
Do you have tips on how I can make the most out of this experience?
Were you apprehensive too, the first time 'round?
Will you tell me it's all gonna be all right when you see me in the corner, in a fetal position?