Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Do You Suffer From PCD?

PCD, also known as Post-Conference Drop, is that feeling you get about a week after you come home from a writing conference. It comes from missing your friends—some of whom you only see in person once, maybe twice, a year. It comes from missing all that buzzing, creative energy that swirls around these conferences. It comes from having to leave the safe-haven bubble and going back to the DDJ, the Dreaded Day Job.

Many of you are returning from the RT Booklovers Convention in Los Angeles, and many are preparing to attend RWA's National Conference in New York. I don't want to talk about the conventions/conferences today - instead, I'd like to find out what you do to "recharge" after one of those conferences.

Let's face it - conferences can be one of the biggest best experiences of your life! You realize that you're really not alone with those voices in your head - other people have them, too! You realize there are people who understand you when you say things like, "I just got to the BBM and I made MYSELF cry!" You know how to talk to an editor and/or agent, but doing so "in the flesh" still makes you shake. Maybe this time you were the one to shore up your fellow shaker before their editor/agent appointment.

But what happens afterward? There's that immediate RUSH of giddiness - you write up a storm, every word that comes out of you onto paper is BRILLIANT! You either start your next opus or you dig out that “novel of the heart” to work on. You're going to write the next bestseller, then a week goes by and what happens? You run out of steam. The juice dries up. The computer screen glows back at you mockingly.

How do you recapture that feeling of wonder, that surprise, that awesomeness of being at conference? How do you go about recharging your batteries? What do you squeeze for more creative juice?

One way is to look at all the promo or SWAG you brought home. What about it inspired you? Why did you select that particular "goodie" to put in your tote? What about that tote? Who advertised on it? Does one of those authors truly inspire you? Do you prefer to sit in solitude for a day or so after one of those conferences, just getting back into your own space or do you seek out crowds to give you that "conference" vibe again?

How do you recharge those creative batteries a few weeks after a conference?


Jill James said...

Marilu, great post. I read alot and write alot after a conference. I remind myself that I went there for my writing so that's what I need to do. Sometimes I'll read over the notes or handouts from the conference to remember what thrilled me just a week ago, that AHA moment I had in a class.

Mona Risk said...

Wonderful post, Marilu. How about posting pictures of RT? That may give a new boost to your creative juices. And we poor, miserable fellows who couldn't attend RT this year will have a glimpse of the fun and pray for your muse to forgive you and visit again.

Unknown said...

This was a great post and provoked thoughts in how I handle events like that. Frankly, I've been extroverting my entire life. In a previuos career, I had to extrovert constantly from a self propelled idea to give others all you can. Now that I'm able to write full time I can embrace the part of me that is the true me. An introvert. I still believe in giving others your all and it is exhausting. But at home I can take off the extrovert mask and bask in the peace of those inside calling me. I'm still sharing myself with characters and they do take a lot out of me but it's a release and different than real life situations. In real life, we're called to care for others in friendship and want to do that to the best of our abilities. Of course, it's satisfying but it is exhausting.

What your post and exhaustion has said to me is that you gave your all for your friends and new friends and really touched my heart.

Josie said...

Wonderful post, Marilu. It's such an exciting event from what I hear--the RT convention. It's normal to feel a let-down after such a rush.