Then life happens. In the tired excitement of coming home, I have to reintegrate myself into my normal life. My family needs attention and I’ve missed them, too. Work has pressing deadlines and laundry has managed to multiply and take over my downstairs. These things tend to eat away at my time and energy until I’m so drained my conference experience seems like a lifetime ago.
By the time I catch my breath and return to writing I’ve found my confidence has deserted me and I’m left overwhelmed and confused. There’s so much I want to accomplish—revise my manuscript, start a blog, follow up with editors and agents. Instead I begin to listen that voice inside that says things like -
"That editor was just being nice—she isn’t really interested in my novel”
“My novel needs so much work, I ought to just start over.”
“Who am I trying to fool? There’s no way I could ever be a real writer.”
So how do I combat this downward spiral? I make a plan. I took time to time out my conference experience—I knew each day what classes I wanted and who I wanted to meet. I have to have that kind of a schedule to put into action the things I learned at the conference.
First make a list of what you came away wanting to do and prioritize what needs to be done first.
- Start with thank you notes for those who took time to help you are a must. If you have an address send one through the mail, but often times you don’t have that information. If not, send a quick email—trust me—they’ll remember you took the time to say thank you.
- Next evaluate your deadlines. Let’s say you have to revise a manuscript for one editor and send a proposal for another idea to a different editor. In this case, decide which one is easier to accomplish and start there.
- Also look at the things you wanted to accomplish personally. Maybe you decided to spend more time each day writing. Or you committed to a personal word count goal. Don’t’ let those get pushed aside—start implementing the changes. This can be an incredible confidence builder.
- What about other writers you met? Did you promise each other to stay in touch? Be brave and reach out to new friends.
- Most important, accomplish something writing related every day. Some days that may be reading a chapter in a writing book. It might be reading a novel written by a writer you want to emulate.