Conquering Post-Conference Blues
I left the American Christian Writers’ Conference ready to conquer some of the “giants” of writerdom, including lack of time and fear of rejection. The instructors, as always, delighted me with their wealth of information and inspirational words. And, as always, I felt armed to do battle. My excitement was at a peak, and I was ready to write.
But, I also knew another giant was awaiting me on the drive home and would follow me into the house. That was the hardest one for me to escape. I call him Big Blue.
Recognizing the Giant
After a writers’ conference, Big Blue walks into the house with me. As I place the wonderful materials I brought home near my computer, he whispers to me that I won’t see those inspiring attendees for another year. I can hear him laughing at the thought that I would open my newest notes or leisurely peruse new materials. He reminds me of the time and energy it takes to develop writing skills, and the blank screen that awaits me.
I brush him off, but he sits near me and notes how solitary I seem. Some may call him post-conference blues or depression. I’m not sure if this is a classified condition, but it happens when I leave a conference feeling inspired, yet empty of those relationships and people I’ve been with—people a little “strange” about the lure of writing, like I am.
Lately, however, I recognize his voice immediately and have developed some ways to banish him. I waste no time allowing him to linger. If you are acquainted with Big Blue, I recommend these giant-slaying tips.
Share Your Experience
Share what you did at the conference with someone, even if you have to speak to yourself. Don’t keep the excitement and positive experiences bottled up. Call or e-mail a fellow writer. You may inspire others; but, more importantly, you will reconnect to your own excitement. Are you part of a writers’ critique group? Attend the next meeting and take the opportunity to engage others in your enthusiasm for learning. Discuss a technique that you learned, and help your fellow writers to apply it.
Often a speaker addresses more than writing techniques. Did one encourage you to a deeper prayer life? Share the inspiration you received. Did an article or book writer relate a testimony or answer to prayer? Pass along those words to comfort and hearten others. Network your experience, but also network your feelings.
Seek Immediate Writing Opportunities
Look for writing opportunities immediately following the conference. Check your church newsletter and bulletin. Are articles needed? Send off that article you have been clutching with insecurity. Pray for new opportunities to come. If you are a nonfiction writer, try fiction (or vice-versa). You may find possibilities that you hadn’t thought about.
Open your market guide, and go on a writer’s “shopping spree” in search of the publication with needs that match your work. Take on the challenge of defeating the giant by hurling the stone of enthusiasm.
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