Several years ago I purchased a pin at the Midnight Bazaar at Nationals. It proudly proclaimed, "I have a book proposal and I'm not afraid to pitch it." Do you think I've ever worn that pin? Of course not, my mama taught me not to lie. I have no idea why I bought the thing.
Pitching my working, whether it's at a formal appointment or a chance encounter, fills me with such fear, I'm sitting here at my computer, biting my lip and sweating, just thinking about it.
I admire people who can memorize their pitch or speak about their work with such eloquence, they probably get a request for a full every time they open their mouths.
Do I prepare? Absolutely. I practice with other people, writers and non-writers. I stand in front of the mirror. I pitch to my husband...I love pitching to my husband, he's always so impressed! Bless him. I've tried note cards, type written pages and memorization. Memorizing definitely doesn't work for me, because normally, I've forgotten my name, much less anything about my work.
Picturing these people in their underwear...well, that just seems wrong and makes me even more uncomfortable, so I won't do that.
I've taken classes. Kelley's class is incredible and I highly recommend it to put the pitch together. Unfortunately, she's never there to pitch for me. So I sit there with something that feels like a gob of peanut butter in my throat and try to be articulate. Something I often struggle with even without that peanut butter feeling.
So here I am, two weeks before conference, knowing I have to pitch my work and I'm already panicking.
I know one of my biggest problems is that my work is so personal to me. I can talk all day about a variety of subjects, if I'm not personally involved or don't have an emotional connection. But get me to talking about something that really means something to me? Peanut butter time again!
So tell me, dear writing friends, what do you do to prepare for your pitch? How do you keep away the nerves?