Yeah, I know that title doesn’t belong to me, but it fits so I’m using it. I mean, wouldn’t you rather be hugging Bruce Hale (Mr. Chet Gecko himself!) instead of doing laundry? But sadly, laundry is my reality.
After the collective high of being surrounded by so much creativity and energy and success, it’s hard to come home to wash dishes and clean up dog barf. I’d rather be writing. But the kids want my attention, the house needs my attention and it might be a while before I get to hole up with my WIP and apply some of the wonderful thoughts that filled my brain for the last four days.
I’m grateful that Team Blog provided crib notes on some of the workshops I wanted to attend. There was so much great stuff to choose from, sometimes it was hard to decide where to go. And sometimes I just had to find a place to chill. Information overload can be harmful to your system (or maybe that was just an excuse to get away from the crowds and hang out with some of the great people I met!)
In the final speech of the conference, Kathleen Duey had these recommendations for preserving the best of SCBWI-LA at home (and of course these would apply to any type of writing event you’re at):
Write down important conversations.
On the back of business cards, write down how you met the person. (I saw Rachel doing this days before Kathleen Duey’s speech =)
Annotate notes (or blog about them!).
Contact everyone who gave you a business card.
Put the gems that people said on the wall.
Take a few days before you jump in to where you were and experiment with some of what you learned.
Try hard to hold on to the validation of your art.
Announce your renewed serious intent and explain it to family and friends.
That last one is hard, at least for me. Until I’m published, family and friends see this as a hobby. They don’t understand why it’s taking so long, why they can’t buy my book at B&N yet or why I don’t just self-publish. The looks on their faces mirror the doubt I sometimes feel. Am I good enough? Yeah, I think I am. And getting better, thanks to conferences like this, critiquing buddies and constant writing and revising.
So here I go, to put it into action. I guess it’s not so much that reality bites. What bites is trying to have a real life when all you want to do is write about somebody else’s life…without interruption. Here’s to all of us working toward that dream =)