(x-posted from my personal blog)
I have been planning for a while now to go the the Potlatch writers/readers conference at the end of February. Of course, now it's time to make reservations, and now I am not sure if it's a good idea. Why?
For one thing, I don't have a short story written that I can submit so I can take part in the mini Clarion style workshop. The submission deadline is February 1, but can I really write something new and get it polished enough that it's worth submitting? I don't know. I guess I could give it a go. But I don't want to turn in crap just to have something to turn in. And I'm not sure "A Gift of Crows" is ready to be written yet. I also don't know for sure that, once I figure out the actual story idea beyond the first scene in my head, it will be a short story. It may be longer. The limit for the Potlatch workshop is 2,000-8,000 words. That's actually pretty short, somewhere between 4.5-18.5 double-spaced pages. I think "Crows" is going to be longer than that. So, there's a major consideration. Of course, attending the workshop part of the conference is not mandatory, but since the conference is one of the things meant to propel me forward in my writing career (or into a writing career), I'm not sure it's worth attending without doing the workshop.
Another problem--I don't have anyone to go with. That means that I will have to pay the $119 per night hotel fee myself. That makes it pricier than I was really planning for, especially since that's just the accommodations, and I still have to take into account the gas, food, and conference fees . It also makes me feel anxious and nervous. Driving up to Seattle by myself (yes, I've done it before, but still...). Finding the place. Trying to make friends with people who are probably all going to be there with someone they know. Trying to fit in, not feel like an outcast, find people to talk to so I'm not alone all weekend. The whole thing makes me feel really anxious, and I can't shake it off.
There are some good talks happening. If I decided to go, there's still enough time that I could even put together a talk about mythic fiction if I was willing to facilitate it. So there could be good stuff. But the main reason I that thought about going. Of course, I had managed to forget that it had to be a complete short story and not part of a larger work... I seriously don't know what to do, and I am stressed.