The conference is over—the ACFW Conference for 2014.
And there is some sadness in this. Saying goodbye to old friends and new. Leaving an intense atmosphere focused on learning and meetings and taking steps to advance our careers.
There’s an aspect of stepping out of a cocoon. After several days of being with fellow writers, it’s time to return to the land of the “normals” as Brandilyn Collins calls the people in our non-writing world. To leave the people who “get us” and return to the world of those who aren’t quite sure what to make of us.
At least I have my characters to talk to. They understand me…most of the time.
The sadness is fleeting as we take the next steps. We apply what we’ve learned to our writing. We prepare proposals and manuscripts to send to agents and editors who requested them.
I’m sitting at my writing table, looking at the list of information I have to compile. Two agents and an editor asked for material. Each wants something a little different from the others. So there’s work involved in pulling it all together and giving each what they requested. Showing the ability to follow direction is important for a professional writer.
My fingers are itching to start, my mind is whirring to begin putting the packages together. And something Donald Maass said earlier this year rings in my head. “Do it better.”
He advised not to rush to get it done and on its way. But to slow down. Take several deep breaths. Prepare the best packet possible. If it means taking time to tweak the manuscript, do it. It’s better to send quality material thirty days or more after the conference than to throw something together within the first twenty-four hours of getting home.
So I’ll breathe. And go through my notes. And organize and tweak and polish. And take the time to do it better.
And—for a few days—savor the afterglow of the conference.
How do you handle the first few days after a conference?