With YALC comes anxiety…

This year will be my first time at YALC. If you don’t know what that is, it’s the Young Adult Literature Convention held in London during the summer. Featuring what looks to be a fantastic array of stalls, signings, talks and workshops, it really has a great variety of things to do for all of us bookworms.

The thing is…it also means that you’ll be in a large convention space packed with large amounts of people. Something which in all honesty, I’m still not entirely comfortable with.

Thankfully, I will be joined by a fellow book-blogger- my boyfriend John . But as my mind keeps reminding me, that’s only one person in a sea of plenty.

There have fortunately been a few things that have eased the anxiety somewhat. For example, I know that last years proof giveaways were a disaster and caused a lot of people to miss out on them, and not only that, to feel a bit insignificant and overlooked. This year, stalls have been told not to make people run for arcs and the majority of them will be hosting raffles instead. Meaning that it’s down to luck, not your mobility.

Also unsure of how on earth I’m going to gather up the courage to say hi to authors and publishers on the stalls. I’m insanely worried that I’ll just freeze up when I’m there and won’t be able to say anything! This is my first time going out as ‘Matilda from Matilda’s Library’ – which I know sounds stupid, but I really wish I had the confidence to network with people and get my name out there. This may have to be something I do next year instead.

I guess my biggest worry though is that I don’t really feel significant enough to ‘join in’. There’s a part of me that feels a bit excluded from the book blogging community, and that’s down to no one but myself and anxiety. It’s not like I haven’t been included in things. I know that there’s a group of you going out for dinner beforehand which I could also have gone to (unfortunately I’m busy on that day and not attending YALC on the Friday!), there’s a massive photo opportunity featuring a whole bunch of book bloggers, which I could also do, but I feel like I would be a spare part. Like I said, no one has made me feel this way, it’s just the way my brain is working right now. It’s in overdrive and asking me ‘why would they want you there anyway?’ It sucks, but I’m going to try not to let it dampen my YALC experience.

My fingers are crossed that I wake up on Saturday morning exuding confidence, but if you do say hi to me and I’m like a deer in the headlights, please know that I’m just going out of my mind with worry!

I’m well aware that I’m not the only one who feels like this, so if you are having the same kind of feelings as I am, please comment below and say hi! At least if we can’t do it face to face, we can do it online right?

If you’ve been to YALC before and you’re feeling better about it this year, also say hi! It would be great knowing that it wasn’t nearly as bad as you were thinking!

Basically, if you’re going to YALC, say hi!