With the ACFW conference only sixteen days away, I find myself getting more and more excited. I can’t wait to see friends, listen to the many wonderful speakers, and meet agents and editors. For us writers, it can’t get much better!
Yet, after a fleeting three and a half days it’s over and we return home. Home to begin the daily grind of sitting down at a laptop and trying to implement all that we learned. We may be excited to do this. Or we may be a little let down. After all, some of us have spent months planning for this conference. So what do we do? How do we cope with letdown and incorporate all we’ve learned into our writing, plus the other things we want to do when we arrive back to “the real world"? I can’t offer medication to beat “Post Conference Funk,” but I can offer a few tips.
Coping With Letdown- Let’s face it, writers are emotional people. We write stories and characters with emotion because that’s who we are ourselves. So after a conference, we might be tempted to spend days and even weeks, in a haze of gloom. This may be similar to the feeling you get when the Christmas rush is over and that long month of January sets in. Instead, before the conference, expect letdown will follow when it’s over, and you’ll be better able to cope.
Follow Through – After taking a few days off to de-funk and tackle the ominous mounds of laundry, you’ll want to evaluate what needs to be done. Maybe you received a request for a proposal or manuscript. Send those out. Maybe you made contact with someone who you’d like to interview on your blog. Send out the interview questions. Also, sending thank you notes to industry professionals you spoke with is a must. And if you made new friends, a quick “how are you" email might help with the letdown that you, and maybe even they, are experiencing.
Implement All You’ve Learned- You’ve heard great speakers and taken notes. Maybe as you were listening you realized changes needed to be made in some area of your writing. Work on making them. Beware however, of making changes just because someone said to do so in a workshop. Not everything that works for them will work for you. We all write differently and that is how God made us. However, all of us could use improvment, so implement the things you know God would have you to do. When we let Him guide us in our writing, how can we go wrong? Revisit Your Conference Experience – Okay, maybe you can’t go back to the Hyatt, but you can go back to your pictures, notes, and conference recordings. These can help with letdown and, not to mention, learning things all over again. Listening to the recordings and rereading your notes will allow you to pick up on things you may have missed or revisit something important.
I hope these tips help stave off “Post Conference Funk” and make the aftermath of the conference just as educational as the conference itself (this would be easier if Tracie Peterson was my next door neighbor!)
And if you see me at the conference, don’t hesitate to say hi!
Happy Writing… Amanda
As promised, I’m giving away a Starbucks card to one lucky winner. All you have to do is answer the question below. In your comment, leave an email address, and voila you’ll be entered! The drawing will take place the Friday the 9th, and the card mailed out soon after so get your answer in before then. This is a great opportunity --so spread the word!
The question is:
Who is the keynote speaker at this year’s ACFW conference?