This Thursday (four days ago) was meant to be the day of my young writer’s conference in Philly.
The day before, I woke up, just like any other day, but I woke with the distinct knowledge that I would be traveling three hours away to attend this conference at a university filled with professional writers, publishers, editors, and the likes. There I would learn, socialize with other writers, and show my hard work to a real-life editor for review and discussion on how to move forward with this passion and career (*eek! Yes! Career!) of mine. That’s some pretty exciting things for a sixteen-year-old.
So, yeah. But, listen here. I’m warning you. Before you get too jazzed up about this writer’s conference deal…*ahem. You know when your teachers say, “Don’t procrastinate. You’re gonna die” and you’re like- “OKAY! I’m going to do this right away so I won’t die!” That was me….the first twenty-four hours of having the book.
But WOE IS ME! Hannah, what were you thinking??
You’re probably quite familiar with the cycle, as well. What cycle, you ask? The dreaded cycle of procrastination. You say to yourself, “Oh, golly gee! I have so much time to do this MANDATORY READING that I don’t have a care in the world as of now!” And there you go, skipping through a field of wildflowers, licking an over-sized lollipop while completely and utterly happy with your clear disillusionment to reality.
Fast forward to the last three/four days before the conference: Hmmm. We see a very stressed out sixteen-year-old girl wringing her hands in despair. Oh, goodness me! Whatever shall she do?!
Yeah. You get the picture. When I woke up Wednesday morning, I still had half the book left to read and a little more of my writings to jot down in my new fancy journal. By that time I was pretty stressed out. I hadn’t really been nervous at all about the conference the days before, just about the reading. I was so excited about everything other than that.
Because this a new chapter in life for me! Heh heh. Chapter. Get it?
Oh gosh. How do you people deal with me?
But really, I’m confident in my ideas and my writing. It was just the principle of it all. Not being finished with the reading, not being finished writing down the WRITING! I still hadn’t packed! So, of course, Wednesday morning I was completely stressing. How was I ever going to get things done in an orderly fashion? Plus, going three hours away to a place I’ve never been before, without knowing one single person in the university was not necessarily in my comfort zone. That just kinda added to everything.
After a few minutes wigging out, I tell my parents, “I’m not going. I can’t possibly get all this done.”
I justified it to myself by repeating these things in my head, You’ll go next year. By then, you’ll have more material to show and your ideas will be even better! You don’t want to go when you’re stressed, anyway. You don’t want to.
I started believing it, too!
All in all, I was psyching myself out big time. I was feeling the pressure and I wanted to bail. In reality, I could get it done. I’ve been ready to meet with a professional in the writing business for a while now! I could do it!
What was I even thinking? Why was I limiting myself because of a few little setbacks? I was going! I made up my mind right then and there. Because if you want to do anything worthwhile in life you have to jump in head first.
I marched up to my mother and I tell her, “I’m going.” I turned my mind around completely, doing a full 180 for the betterment of myself. I knew good and well how important this was to me.
She looks at me and says….
“Sorry, Hannah. We won’t be able to go this year.”
HA you should see the look on your face! Not the answer you were expecting, eh?
Well, as it turns out, our dog, Millie, a little four-year-old rat terrier miniature pinscher mix that has glaucoma in her eye wasn’t feeling particularly well. Her eye was being especially painful for her that morning and we didn’t feel comfortable leaving her for that long trip.
But you know what? I felt so much better knowing that I had the guts to put my foot down and set my mind to go on that trip. I wasn’t going, but having that determination made all the difference for me to still feel good about everything.
Like it says in the title, at least I knew I would’ve. I don’t want to make this into a preachy lesson or a cheesy little inspiration for you. I’m just putting it out there for the future, for me and for others to remember.
And guess where I’m going next August? You can bet I’m walking straight into that young writers’ conference in Philly to learn, grow, and thrive in the area that I love most.
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