Bed Bugs! My attention from Nationals was diverted by an abundance of urgent discussions on this topic amidst the WRW loop. Shuddering, I firmly pushed aside thoughts of infestation and focused my attention on the conference and all the whispers that I had heard – “ overwhelming, awe-inspiring.. “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry.. your life will never be the same again.” Yeah, sure, I thought, assuming the adage applied to those earthlings who have not been able to reign their emotion to such perfection it should be introduced as an Olympic sport.
On the first day of the conference, I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something was off. Don’t get me wrong, there was NOTHING wrong with the conference. Compared to the millions of others I attended for work purposes, this one rivaled anything I had ever seen; efficient and organized and with attention and preparedness for every detail.
But as day one morphed into day two, I could no longer keep at bay the creepy crawly feeling seeping into my consciousness. Past the protective layer of denial I chose to build around the anticipation and anxiety, it wove an ethereal web of fear and uncertainty that infested me worse than any bed bug on the planet.
It wasn’t the hordes of faces, famous, infamous and yet-to-be-famous faces flitting from room to room. The creepy crawlies, which I was so worried would be in my bed, were actually in my head. And so they began to mess with me. I wandered from workshop to workshop, trying to locate my “place” and not really finding it. When people asked what I wrote, the only words I wanted to push out of my mouth were, “I’m not a writer.” And so, like a flattened bed bug, I left. On my trip home, I thought about the positives; I met up with great WRW friends (hello a few mermaids), attended two FABULOUS workshops and soaked up the greatness of being surrounded by so many writers. But on the flip side, the conference left in its wake a nest of creepy crawlies that intensified my feelings of doubt and inadequacy.
In bed that night, as I replayed the events of the days, I realized the conference didn’t “bring” out those feelings. It just allowed me the opportunity to feel them, something I don’t like doing. In the end, I’m glad I went, despite the creepy crawlies. Because as we all know, running from the bugs is a great way to ensure they’ll catch you. Facing them head on is the only way to go. So as I nurse the ouchie left on my pocketbook by a pricey stay in NYC, I’m cautiously motivated to utilize those gems of wisdom I learned in those workshops to create a better product. And hopefully, it isn’t infested with bugs. Anyone else?