Wednesday, May 27, 2015

10 Things a Writer Should Do Post-Conference

by, Alycia W. Morales
@AlyciaMorales

I recently returned from one of my favorite writers conferences of all time, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. As a faculty member who used to be an attendee, I recognize the posts of several conferees this week: I'm home now, and I'm really missing everyone I just met. Can't we go back? Next year can't come soon enough.

Along with those post-conference blues comes the need to process all of the information we've taken in over the last week.

Overwhelming. For sure.

I'd like to offer 10 things we can do to get beyond the post-conference blues and to process all of that information without having a meltdown.

1. Take a couple of days to rest and settle back into your normal routine. Let the stress ooze out. Take a nap. Or two. Talk with family or friends. Tell them how much fun you had. Or cry on their shoulder if your conference didn't go the way you'd planned or hoped.

2. Pray about the things you heard or received throughout the conference. Let God help you straighten out your thoughts. Listen for His still-small voice as He guides you into His will. Don't ignore those gut feelings. Process them with Him. But don't leave Him out of your career decisions. That could be dangerous. Journal everything you're thinking about and sort it out.

3. Download the conference handouts. File them into your binder/file system. Compare them to your conference notes. Fill in any blanks you may have had. Now you're ready to review your course material and decide how to apply it to your writing when the audio files release (if you've purchased them).

4. Go through any photos you may have taken. Enjoy the smiles and memories that come with each one. Don't forget to upload them to Facebook and tag your new friends. Ask them to share a memory from the week and take a note or two to include in your scrapbook (if you're a scrapbooker).

5. Pull out the business cards you've collected and respond to any requests for information. Send a new friend an e-mail and tell them how much you enjoyed meeting them. Follow up with fellow conferees.

6. Make a To-Do List for your writing. Who requested what materials from you? Remember, only 30-percent of conferees will actually send in their requested manuscripts/articles/blog posts. That's a very small follow-through, which gives you a lot of opportunity to be published.

7. Once you have a To-Do List, begin working through it. Depending on your personality, you may wish to get the smaller, easier projects out of the way first. Then work on the bigger ones. Or, you may wish to conquer the mountain first, then work on the ant hills. Make this part of your daily schedule until you've accomplished the tasks at hand and checked off all items on your list.

8. Hit the SEND button. You can do it. I know you can. Push fear aside and let God work. Send your manuscripts and articles and devotions. You won't know until you try.

9. Find a blog or two to follow. This is another great way to keep up with your new writing buddies.

10. When they're released, download and listen to the audio files. Review your course materials and make sure to apply what you've learned to your writing. Trust the editor when she says it really shows when an author has taken the time to learn their craft.

Q4U: What other tips do you have for writers who have just come home from conference?

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6 comments:

  1. I especially love your suggestion to go through business cards and photos. Each card or photo brings back memories of time with old friends or of a cup of coffee shared with a new friend. Lots of smiles as I sort through them all!

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  2. What a great list! I would also add sending thank you notes to any faculty (or even other attendees) who helped, or took the time to meet and offer advice.

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  3. Wonderful advice. I'm trying to do a little of all those suggestions. :)

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  4. Great advice, Aylcia. You da best.

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  5. Thanks for the tips Alicia, perfect timing. The class was terrific and every day offered valuable information and resources! Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge and experiences! Great memories.

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