Post Conference Blues

The energy at RWA Nationals is so strong and it is so wonderful to have 4-5 days to talk with other writers that once it’s over there is a let down. No matter how much you missed your family and your own bed. No matter how excited you are about getting back to your WIP to put into practice what you have learned.

It hit me today after the red eye flight and a nap once we got home. I found myself feeling down and doubts about my ability to sell reared their very ugly heads. I wanted to talk it over with someone. I thought maybe I shouldn’t send in the pages to the agent I queried. Maybe I needed to wait, to polish, to change, to avoid the chance of rejection.

Thank heavens I recognized it for what it was and made a plan. I’m so tired today that looking over my first 10 pages and working on tweaking the synopsis and writing the letter did not seem like the best use of what little energy I have. I want to be fresh. Because it’s important to let your belief in your book and your passion for it shine through when you send out a partial or even a few pages.

So I thought what will free me up to concentrate on the book tomorrow? What might pull me away from it? What could I use as an excuse to avoid working on it?

The answer was the necessary chores anyone has when they return from a trip. Grocery shopping, unpacking, laundry, and in my case a car that should have been inspected by 7/31/08. So I pushed myself to do those things. Now the kids have food for the next few days and things they enjoy that don’t take a lot of preparation. Clothes are unpacked, washed and drying. The car is at the shop where it will be inspected tomorrow. No I haven’t sorted all my notes, papers and promotional information I gathered at the conference. But the biggies are done and I can set aside a little time each day to finish the rest. There are not suitcases sitting in the hall or mounds of laundry piled in front of the washer to drain my energy tomorrow.

The only thing that will keep me from getting the information to the agent tomorrow is myself. I will do this. I owe it to the story. The story I love and believe in. I believe in it and am so committed to sending it off that I did the stuff today that usually takes me more than a week at the least. Or a month or two. I’m the queen of procrastination.

Are you feeling the post conference blues? Even if you didn’t go, are you putting up roadblocks that stop you from selling your book? From finishing it? How do you motivate yourself to burst through those roadblocks? Because if we don’t destroy the roadblocks we set up we will never succeed.

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4 Responses to “Post Conference Blues”

  1. BCB Says:

    Oh, poor baby. I remember the feeling well. Don’t be so hard on yourself about needing time to recover from conference, to process all the stuff roiling in your head. It took me three weeks to “get over” Atlanta. Yes, really. I couldn’t concentrate worth a damn. Not only couldn’t write, I couldn’t read.

    And keep in mind that the agent you’re sending work to is probably feeling much the same. Even the most experienced conference-goers I know admit to having “conference head” to some degree or another. Give yourself whatever time you need. You’ll know how much. And your story is amazing and fantastic.

    I had a HUGE breakthrough in understanding with regard to writing over the past couple days. If you haven’t read Sol Stein’s book “Stein on Writing” — I highly recommend it.

  2. jennifer Says:

    RSS,
    thanks for letting us enjoy the RWA experience vicariously. You did a magnificent job.

  3. Keziah Fenton Says:

    I have a three sentence a day minimum. It breaks up the GIANT task of writing a book into manageable portions. Most of the time I far exceed that goal. But on the days that I’m not feeling like it, or wonder who I’m kidding about my “talent” is an obtainable goal. I’ve spent the last couple of days actively thinking about query letters. I’ve also given myself a deadline for getting those things in the mail.

    You did a great job last weekend. You are allowed, no, required, to recharge from that experience.As you said, you want to put forth your best effort. Your story deserves that because it is mighty fine!

  4. Kay T Says:

    I went to so many productivity workshops about just this sort of thing. The last one was so funny, the husband (of Elizabeth Boyle) had set up a project plan to help her keep track of getting her book done. They were laughing about things like kids getting sick, or in-laws coming getting you off schedule, etc.

    The I come home to this total chaos of a house, AND my niece-in-law’s lasik surgery did not go well. So my sister is descending and that means I don’t really know what my schedule will be for the next few days, maybe they will need me to help with the kids, etc., and maybe I should clean up the guest room instead of the office… you know, excuses, excuses.

    BUT, it sounds like you did great with your plan and that you are going to be moving forward. I will use you as my role model – ha!

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