In my last post, 5 tips for Writing Conference Newbies, I hinted that such newbies should be mindful of Post Writing Conference Blues. They exist, I swear!
Picture this…you’re sitting in a conference room, surrounded by a crowd of other bright-eyed writers; some look as eager as school children, sitting on the edge of their seats, pens poised, madly trying to write down every word the presenter utters (that was me), while others sit back in their chairs, legs crossed, casually laughing at all the writerly jokes made by the expert at the front of the room.
You wonder what on earth they’re laughing at. Isn’t this important stuff they should be writing down? Oh, my goodness — there’s so much I have to learn. How am I ever going to apply it all to my manuscript? HOLY COW! I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT TO PITCH SAID MANUSCRIPT TO [insert editor/agent’s name here] IN, LIKE, 24 HOURS! WHAT AM I GONNA DO???
You get over the minor panic attack, pitch your manuscript successfully several times, and have a fabulous weekend networking and making life long friends. Then you come home and sleep for a week. When you wake up, all the self-doubt bubbles up again and you are completely and utterly overwhelmed by all the work you have to do. You panic. You procrastinate. You lose faith.
Say hello to Post Writing Conference Blues.
So, why am I writing about such a depressing subject, especially after describing how amazing the RWA Conference was in my last post? Well, because it’s been seven weeks since the conference and it seems that many of my fellow conference newbies have admitted to feeling a bit lacklustre when it comes to their writing. I went through it myself when faced with the daunting task of submitting my manuscript to those I’d pitched to. So I guess I felt the need to point out, that if what I’ve described above sounds like what you’re going through, then I can guarantee you’re not alone.
The most important thing to do now is to figure out how you’re going to get through it. For me, I just had to bite the bullet and hit that ‘send’ button. I felt like a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders once I’d sent my baby out into the world. Surprisingly, I’m not in the least bit anxious about hearing back from the publishers. Granted, I only submitted three weeks ago. But as soon as I’d let it go, I was ready to move on, to keep writing. In those three weeks, I’ve entered some competitions, writing two beautiful short stories that I’m incredibly happy with. I’ve got at least two more in the pipeline that I want to get stuck into before I begin tackling book number two.
So, I urge you not to stop writing. Be determined. If you’ve lost momentum on your current work in progress, take a break from it and start a new project to get the creative juices flowing. Look around you for inspiration. It’s everywhere. If you’re still stuck, check out my boards on Pinterest. Two of my favourite are “Inspiring Locations” and “Pictures that tell a story” — they’re filled with beautiful photographs bound to fill your head with story ideas.
Be inspired, but most importantly, get writing!