I just wrapped up the 2012 RWA National Conference and like all conferences I’ve attended I left exhausted. All those workshops, pitches, and networking is draining BUT I still left with a greater urge to write than usual. I’m excited to be an author and yet overwhelmed at the goals in front of me. So how do you do it? How do you unleash the super writer in your post conference glow without further depleted your energy?
When you figure it out please let me know. Ha, but seriously the post conference wind down is different for every writer. We all have our different needs so I can only tell you what works best for me and how I’m going to handle this crucial time in a writers process.
1. Capitalize on the energy- Though I’m tired I’m also pumped with excitement and ideas. I use that excitement to boost some of my energy into my writing. Set word count or page goals and stick to them! Now is the best time to feel excited about your career.
2. Take a break to follow up- If you pitched to an agent or editor FOLLOW THROUGH WITH ALL REQUESTS. If you don’t you are only rejecting yourself. Also follow up with any new contacts. This year I found a new critique partner so I’m following up with her and setting a strict schedule so that we can both stay on track. Take notes on all the business cards you collected. Just jot down a word or two so you’ll remember who everyone is. Hope that they all read this blog so they will be sure to do the same thing!
3. Take a break!- That’s right. Take a day off before diving into your writing. This may seem to contradict my first point of capitalizing on your energy but I’ve found that taking a day off to process all that you’ve learned and take time to reboot from the conference chaos is good. Do the laundry, clean house, do whatever you need to do so you can have the time to write. Whatever you do just move around! Get done what you need to do around the house so that you can give your writing your full attention.
4. Look over your notes- If you’re like me then I’m sure you took so many notes. Go over therm and remember the points and sections that you need to implement.
5. Thank the workshop instructors- I always send a brief thank you email to the workshop instructors. It’s just the nice thing to do and you never know when someone could come back offering to read some of your pages. However, do mean the thanks and don’t do this hoping for help.
What do you do after attending a major conference? Whatever it is, I hope you make the most of your conference experience.
As always, one of my favorite things about conferences is getting to meet some great online friends. I had so much fun at breakfast with Kristen Lamb, Tameri Etherton, Jami Gold, Jenny Hansen and August McLaughlin. It was great to get to meet these fabulous fellow WANA International gals.
Conferences are also a great time to meet up with friends. I’m going to enjoy this part even more in the years to come since I’m moving to Saudi Arabia. I had a wonderful dinner with Nicole Flockton, Vicky Dreiling (RITA nominee) and Shana Galen.
Like most conferences I met some great writers and new friends. I want to give a shout out to Jenna Grinstead, Talia Quinn Daniels (a Golden Heart winner,) Cecily White (Golden Heart nominee,) Stephanie Winkelhake (Golden Heart nominee,) Natalie Vawter (Golden Heart nominee,) Pintip Dunn (Golden Heart nominee,) M. Kassel (Golden Heart nominee,) and Pam van Hylekama Wieg.
Share some of your conference moments below and good luck in unleashing the super writer in you post your conference experience.