Newbies: Do You Have Buddy Envy?

So you’re at your first writer’s conference, and guess what? Everyone else there knows it. How? Well, there is that glazed-over look as you try hard not to feel totally overwhelmed. But the real give away is the person who’s assigned to ensure you don’t wind up locked overnight in the ladies’ room. At Mount Hermon, this is called The Buddy System.

A seasoned veteran of the Hermon Games, uh I mean the Hermon Conference follows you, the newbie, helping you find your workshop, make it to your agent appointment and even comforting you afterwards. Now everyone has had it up to here with my whining about missing this gem of a conference, so I’ll skip the kvetching. But if I was a newbie here’s what, with my luck, would happen:
I’d struggle with Buddy Envy. Right away, there’s trouble. Mine isn’t sure that my book on unchurched poultry will be what the agents are looking for.
Next, my roomie no doubt would snag the Buddy with the most impressive author connections, the funniest jokes and the best hair. My Buddy would probably lose her contacts the first day and spend the rest of conference on her knees yelling, “Watch where you walk, people!
Roomie’s Buddy introduces her to her best friend the Keynoter, while my Buddy no doubt comes down with the stomach flu. I’ll end up spoon-feeding her chicken broth and wiping her forehead with a damp cloth. And I’ll probably look down and find one of her contacts.
The other newbies’ buddies carefully groom their charges to impress at their agent appointments. Afterward the newbies run around shrieking that they now have an agent. My Buddy will be cheerfully pointing out that my one sheets are covered in purple crayon scribbles, and it’s as she feared: none of the agents here is looking for what I’m offering: How to Get Chickens to Go to Church. But look on the bright side, My Buddy would say, squinting the eye without her contact lens. “The sun came out and everything is in bloom!”
Have Fun with Your Buddy!

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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