From what I’ve seen of the writing community, we tend to be somewhat solitary creatures…at least the majority of us. There are those extroverts in our midst, but I’m pretty sure the ratio is significantly skewed toward introversion.

In a group scenario where you may be terrified what someone is going to say about your baby (manuscript) that you’ve had in process, likely for years, it’s easy to listen to the whisperings of the introvert heart and head for the empty table when you sit down with your lunch. One word about this:

Don’t.

(OK, so I cheated. That’s technically two words mashed into a contraction. But you know what I mean.)

Turtle in shell
Don’t be this guy

If there’s any place I’ve repeatedly heard attendees of other conferences say they had some of the amazingly formative conversations, it’s over conference meals. I’m right there with you if the idea of sitting down at a table with a bunch of relative strangers gives you heart palpitations. But the one thing we’ve got going for us at Realm Makers as opposed to other conferences: you’re guaranteed you won’t sit down with a table of women who are writing their memoirs or chick lit. Well, maybe some of the people at lunch will be working on those types of projects as well, but since this conference is for geeks by geeks, guess what? When you say you write about shapeshifting, half-cyborg, panther-men, you can be pretty sure nobody at the table is going to look at you like they’re not sure if that’s allowed.

So even if you don’t know a soul who’s attending the conference, fear not. You will be in your element just by virtue of the fact that you love fantasy and/or sci-fi. I know it will be a stretch for some folks to go ahead and take a chance on talking ideas, but stretching is generally good for you. And there’s something else you can do in such a scenario if you just can’t bring yourself to pipe up: listen. I’m confident there will be some incredible, informative, hysterical, eye-opening conversations going on that you’ll be glad you didn’t miss by sitting in the corner and checking your email.

So take a breath, join a table, and get ready for amazing things to happen. See you in August!

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