I’m headed to NJ SCBWI summer conference this weekend, well, today actually.
I love this conference! It is like a party with all your best friends who share a love of writing. There are friendly agents to crush on and editors to share dinner with. There’s an ever-flowing fountain of coffee and just a bit of wine. And there’s the opportunity to network with total strangers.
No matter how much I practice my pitch for the agent pitch, someone in the bagel line will ask,
“What are you working on?”
This question always knocks me on my heels. I feel like the only thing I am working on is remembering to breathe.
Uhh...I’m installing a butterfly garden in at my daughter’s school. I’ve been studying tree identification for a sign installation at the park. I painted a gigantic map of the US on the playground which was significantly harder than I imagined. I have a big Girl Scout beach party Monday. (Shoot, I forgot to buy cups!) I work on laundry a lot.
These are the things that pop in my head. Keeping them from popping out of my mouth is very challenging.
First, I have to breathe. Then, I have to remember they really mean, “Tell me about your current writing project. Give me a sense of your voice. How do you stand out in your genre?”
If you are struggling with your pitches and answering this horrendously challenging question, I have a few recommendations.
1. Take a shower. One pitch came to me there, and I was forced to write it in steam on the shower door.
2. Relax. A second pitch was worked out during a pedicure yesterday.
3. Exercise. A third pitch was worked out during yoga – I got the word order I needed, though the process did make my Awkward Chair Pose even more awkward.
And all those other things I’m working on? Well, I’ve been thinking about a blog page about “Creativity when I’m not Writing.” There are so many interesting things I’ve been up to this year, which weren't writing but were creating. I think all creation breathes life into your writing!
If you are heading to NJ SCBWI, I’ll see you soon. (Well, tonight!)