However, along with the over-the-top interest in everything book related, often there comes a certain awkwardness and resistance to social mingling. I am terrible at connecting with new people. I love to do it, when I can manage it--but it doesn't come easy. Surrounded by so many writerly types, I know I will be overwhelmed with shyness and uncertainty.
But that is why it is important to remember the fundamentals of networking: just talk to people like they are human beings--because they are. I will repeat this to myself over and over again throughout the next three days. Sometimes it is hard to remember that other writers and editors also enjoy things outside of writing and editing that they love to talk about--like film and food and family (and other words that don't begin with the letter f, I'm sure). They also love to talk about writing and reading not related to their work. I should know, because I am one of them. This is also something I will have to keep repeating to myself.
All in all, the AWP Conference should be an opportunity to learn some new things, meet some new people, and have a great time doing both. Although I know it might be a little nerve-wracking at times, I am excited to get out there and make some connections. Because after all, what else is writing for if not a means of connecting with your fellow human beings?