As I sit in front of a blank screen trying to convey all of my thoughts and feelings about the latest readercon I attended, I have to acknowledge how difficult the task is that I laid out for myself. Even giving my post the “compressed” header isn’t helping my cause. There’s so much to say! But also a lot I can’t seem to put into words –not a good thing for a writer.
I walked away from this year’s When Words Collide with an entirely different attitude than I walked away with in 2013. I don’t want to say it was a negative experience, because it wasn’t, but I didn’t come out feeling as positive as last year. Probably because I implemented all of the basic stuff I learned and am in the process of making that work. And I am not really much farther along in my career –which makes total sense from a logical point of view.
I was presented with so much information –seriously, WWC is non-stop information all the time– and I was overwhelmed very early on this past weekend. There’s so much to consider during every single aspect of writing that I started to feel dazed, and not in a good way. Information and options from the conception of an idea to drafting to editing to deciding how to publish to marketing to networking to, well, everything involving writing was thrown at me. And there is SO much.
I’m afraid it hit me pretty hard. I won’t lie, I went into the conference stressed and came out stressed. A shitty cycle if you ask me. And an exhausting one.
After a deep breathe I recalled the good: laughing with large and small groups, meeting new and interesting people, dirty ad-libs, and listening to members of my writing group read from their books, to name a few. Then there was the so-awful-it’s-hilarious, like the guy who flossed his teeth in a lecture beside me.
I’m still in the process of transcribing my handwritten notes; I took down more than I realized. Once I’m done the inspired feelings should hit me after this info overload wares off. Then I’ll have lots of insightful posts to share!
I do have three awesome things to report:
- Kate’s Novel Marketing panel was a hit. She rocked the room and each audience member walked away with useful information. At least I did. And she managed not to swear!
- I got to meet Kelley Armstrong! It was the lamest conversation, on my part, because I was so nervous and awestruck and worried about making a colossal ass of myself. But we did converse –I’m calling my mumbling points conversing, what of it?– and it totally made my day. I’m just sad she was only at WWC for one day.
- I survived the panel I signed up to speak on! Although I’m not sure I’ll be doing that again anytime soon.
Overall, as shocking as conventions can be, they are momentous commodities for writers in all stages. They’re not something to be wasted or looked on lightly. They’ll inspire you, terrify you, and drain you, and it’ll be completely worth it.