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Monday, October 29, 2012

Conference Debriefing: Easing Back into the Real World

Conference is over. You met with like-minded people, heard amazing speakers, and spoke with an editor or to, but you're back home and easing into the real world. Normal life must continue despite all the emotions and excitement you've just experience, so how do you handle it all?

Rest

You're body and mind has just been through an ordeal. Maybe conference was a fabulous experience for you, maybe  it was a disappointment. No matter what category you fall into, your body needs to rest and your mind and emotions need to recover. So sleep in if you can, cancel some activities. Have an extra cup of coffee. Order take out for your family. Don't feel the need to unpack your suitcase and put everything back in it's place. Even if you have to jump back into your work routine, you can still slow down someway. Find what works for you and don't feel guilty about it!

Remember

You've met hundreds of people, collected just as many business cards, had more conversations with more people than you can count, how do you keep them all straight in your head? At conference, if I had a memorable meeting with someone I had just met, I tried to jot something significant about them on the back of their business card. Unfortunately, I didn't do this as often as I should of, so now I will sort through my cards and camera photos and try to write down what I can remember about each person. Thankfully, most business cards have photos, and since I'm a visual learner I often see where I met that person and recall some of the conversation. So take sometime today to try and remember the conversations you had before they totally slip your mind.

Record

Ever year conference is different for me, but every year it's memorable. I want to remember the good and the bad so I can learn and grown. I want to remember those God moments, the new people I met and conversations I had. And the best way for me to do that is to journal or blog about them while it's fresh in my mind. Somethings are meant to be shared, other things are meant for just me, but in order to remember them with the passion and emotion of the moment, I need to write about them now. Take some time this week to do that!

Respond

I always plan on sending thank you notes to the editors and teachers who've impacted me during conference. While my intentions are good, I don't always follow through. This week I'm making it a priority to send off an email or written note to people who played a part in my conference whether or not they requested my manuscript. This business is about making connections, not just making sales. One of my best editor meetings was with someone who didn't request my book, but I left satisfied. I want that editor to know what a meaningful conversation we had. In your note, try to include something about you or your conversation to jog their memory. After all, they met with hundreds of people and while they might not remember your specific meeting, being thanked and appreciated will make an imprint on them. Just remember to be sincere and not gimmicky. Whether coming home from conference is a let down or relief, life does go on and everyone must get back to the routine of life. But if you  take time for conference debriefing and ease back into the real world, your body and mind will be prepared for the normal demands of life.

Let's Talk: How do you debrief from conference? 



Gina Conroy, a.k.a. "the other Gina," is a monthly contributor to Novel Rocket. She's the founder of Writer...Interrupted and is still learning how to balance a career with raising a family. She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, and her first novella, Buried Deception, in the Cherry Blossom Capers Collection, released from Barbour Publishing in January 2012 with her second novel Digging Up Death releasing in November.   

2 comments:

Ane Mulligan said...

Funny you should ask. This year, it's been hard to get back into the grove. I've transposed notes, worked on a course I'll be teaching next year, and editing a lot, but no new words. However, this week that changes. The NaNoWriMo starts, and I think the timing is excellent - if not planned.

Gina Conroy said...

I have yet to write new words also. And though I'm NOT a NaNoZwriMo fan, I will TRY and write a Christmas novella in November!