When I’m preparing for something, like an event, I’m usually pretty antsy about it. It’s dreadfully difficult for me to let go and breathe and trust that things will happen the way they should, and all I need to do is be sure I’m ready.
But then, my mind’s voice will echo back, “But how do I know that I know that I’m ready?
I’m heading to The Realm Makers conference in a couple days. My friend and business partner, Amy Williams, will come pick me up and we shall drive!- to St. Louis for the conference. “Excited” doesn’t begin to touch how I feel. It has been two years since I attended and I am so thankful it worked out for me to attend this year.
Am I ready? As ready as I can be, with my business cards, my laptop, and half of a first draft written.
Do I feel ready?
That would be a Nope, Alex.
Nope, nope, nope.
I don’t have something ready to pitch.
I don’t know if the kiddo will need me suddenly and I’ll need to make a quick exit.
All I really do know is I have a fun costume that I am pretty pleased with.
And there is a voice that nags me, saying I’m not ready as an author. As someone who claims to belong to the group of folks attending this conference. As someone who will be dressing up and will probably look silly. As someone who is “obviously” not a committed author, because so many other people are published when they have small children, so why can’t I finish a book in a year and a half?
I’m not asking for pity here. Just being honest. Because I’m betting there are a few people out there who have heard a similar voice before. The murmurs that encourage you to stay home in your comfortable chair and not to risk exposing yourself, to not inconvenience others just because you want to go to a place where adults discuss elves and fairies and robots, to keep your costumes in the dresser and your dreams of sharing stories in your head. Or similar things.
Can you relate? I hope not. But if you do, keep in mind:
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
We must go. We must make the journey and make the most of it, no matter how unprepared we feel. Because if we only do things when we are ready… Well, you know the punchline. Those things are not gonna happen.
So I am going to this conference. It’s going to be great. I will see some old friends and make new ones and I’m going to wear goggles as I set off on this adventure far from my cozy Forest.