I can’t believe we’re only two weeks away from the Book Expo America Bloggers Conference! I’m nervous and excited, and frankly a little bit anxious. This is my first-ever conference; the first time I’ve ever gone on a “business trip”; the first time I’ve ever traveled into New York City alone.
Yeah, I’m more than a little nervous. Frankly, I’m kind of terrified of getting lost — on the streets of Manhattan, in Penn Station, on the wrong train…for someone as paranoid as I am, the possibilities are kind of endless. But I’m also aware that it’s all about surviving day one, the conference itself, that takes place two weeks from today. Once I go through the motions on May 28, traveling to and from the Expo on the 29th and 30th will be much easier and more comfortable.
In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about the sessions I’m planning to attend at the conference. The keynote will be given by crazy-popular YA author Maureen Johnson; though I’ve heard of her, I haven’t read any of her work yet (though I’ve pushed a few books around on my reading schedule to make room for 13 Little Blue Envelopes and The Last Little Blue Envelope to be read and reviewed before I hit the conference). Her keynote and the lunchtime interview with Stacy Morrison of BlogHer aren’t in question, because they’re not split sessions. Of the four parallel sessions, I’m only sure of one. The others I’m still trying to figure out! What’s a girl to do? The morning sessions are split according to years of experience, but I feel like I might benefit more from the advanced sessions than the beginner ones. After lunch, I’m interested in both the “Blogging and the Law” and the “Vlogging and Podcasting” sessions, and I can’t do both so I have a decision to make. The only session I’m absolutely sure of is the very last one of the day — I will be attending the “Engaging Your Readers: Take Your Writing to the Next Level” workshop to improve my writing. I know I can do better for all of you, and I’m hoping that this writing workshop gives me some good pointers.
I’m working on business cards and I’m going to start networking with the bloggers listed in the directory over the coming days. I’m going to pack my favorite Vera Bradley bag with a notebook and pen, my BEA badge paperwork, a camera, my NOOK, and the essential wallet, keys, and iPhone. I’ve chosen a few new pieces of clothing to wear for the three Expo days; I’ll also be attending BookCon with some friends, but a tee shirt and jeans will be the order of the day for that day. I’m going to get my hair cut, put a little makeup on, and present myself as professionally as possible at BEA. I really want this blog to be my “thing” from here on out and I hope that a professional presentation, in conjunction with lots of reading and writing, will help me to make that happen. But this blog wouldn’t exist without readers, and so I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting me on this journey. I feel like this — blogging — is what I’m meant to do, and I wouldn’t be able to do it without you…so thank you.
And now, the final countdown to my first-ever BEA begins! Is it May 28 yet?