Last night, when my friends and I left When Words Collide, we were exhausted. Inspired, yes. Full to the brim with ideas and tips to make our writing better, yes. But also, physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. To be honest, I’m still feeling pretty wiped.
On Friday, I posted about how to survive a writing con. Today, I’m writing about how to survive the days after the con. I hope they’re helpful for you. In the very least, they are helpful for me to actually sit and think about, and hopefully, do.
Why does this post-conference exhaustion happen and how can we get over it?
After two and a half days of constant mental stimulation, tons of info coming in and tons of ideas flowing into my notebook my brain was TIRED. That’s what cons do. They fill you with information to the point of overstimulation. This is awesome once in a while, but also draining. Our bodies aren’t used to being constantly around people and air conditioning and not eating normal meals and just being on all the time.
It’s normal, to feel this beat up. It really is. If you’ve been to a con, you understand. If you haven’t, well, believe me when I say it’s wonderful and brutal all at the same time.
Post-con relaxation is necessary.
As much as I want to dig right into my manuscript and start getting crazy word counts on the page (hello Sarah J. Maas writing 17.7 THOUSAND words on Saturday), I just can’t. Not yet.
Last night, I relaxed. I just chilled with my hubs on the couch. We watched some Stranger Things, had dinner, went for a bike ride, ate some cookie dough ice cream. It was exactly what my brain needed.
After I let my brain relax, I went to bed. Nice and early. My body deserved the rest. Sitting in conference rooms for three days straight writing a near constant stream of notes is a surprisingly physical labour.
So I let my body relax…. And man, do I love my bed.
Get back to normal.
For me, as tempting as it is to hole myself up in a room and just pound the keyboard with all the ideas flowing through my head, I can’t. I have a full-time job. I have groceries to buy and family to spend time with. Today, I’m back into normal life. Monday is blog night where I try to draft as many posts for the week as possible. So far, I’ve done this one and a book review. I’ve got two or three more on the docket that I’d like to write. We’ll see how it goes.
Get those new ideas down on paper.
Once I’ve relaxed, rested, eaten a hot meal or two, and drafted blog posts, it’s time for me to get down into fiction land. That’s what I hope to do tomorrow evening.
This weekend, I learned how to write a logline and distill my novel into a 25-word sentence. I also learned about world-building and discovering my novel’s arc by writing a seven sentence short story. Through these exercises, I created my opening sentence, figured out the glaring plot hole in my story, and stumbled upon a love interest and a mentor for my main character. Talk about ideas galore!
On top of that! I submitted the first page of another story to a Live Action Slush to get feedback on it and realized that chapter is actually the second chapter of that book, not the first like I thought.
Guys! I have so many ideas flowing right now. I’m inspired. I’m encouraged. Tomorrow evening I’m going to hammer words onto the page and figure out where at least one of these stories is going. The other one, will have to take a back seat for a while.
Don’t forget to congratulate your friends!
Some of my friends had awesome con experiences and I’m so stoked for them.
One friend, KT, pitched her manuscript to four publishers and two of them want her to query! Congrats, girl! I’m beyond excited for you.
Another new friend, A, had her page read in a couple of Live Action Slushes, and got the most amazing feedback from one of the authors who got to hear multiple versions of it and said the last version “rocked!”. So awesome. A, if you’re reading this, email me! I want to read the rest of that manuscript. 🙂
Happy writing, friends!
*Images from Twitter and Giphy