Monday, October 26, 2015

Keeping Your Conference Momentum by Nola Passmore



I've just been to a wonderful Christian writers' conference in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria.  It was so much fun catching up with old friends, making new ones, and gaining valuable input on everything from sense of place in fiction to firing your imagination to stretchercise for writers.

I came home pumped, but tired.  Travelling and a hectic conference program can zap your energy. Home and work tasks can also pile up while you're away and it's easy to slip back into your regular routine and forget about writing.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your conference momentum once you're home from a conference.

Refresh – Give yourself a bit of grace and time to relax and refresh when you first arrive back. Your family and friends will be waiting to see you and you’ll have things to do. However, don’t use this as an opportunity to procrastinate. The purpose of recharging your batteries is to keep you plugged in.

Review – Go over your conference notes and handouts and mark up the sections you want to apply in your writing life. If there were sessions you missed, the presenters might be willing to email a copy of their notes.

Write – Get back into your writing as soon as possible. The conference may have sparked an idea you can explore or you may have a new way of approaching something you’re already working on. It doesn’t have to be a major project, but the sooner you ‘get back in the saddle’ and write, the easier it will be to apply the lessons you’ve learned.

Follow-up – Did you have an editing appointment? Then use the editor’s suggestions to improve your work. Did a publisher ask you to send a proposal or manuscript? Send it as soon as you can so that he or she will remember what you discussed and will see you’re serious about your writing. However, only send your best work. If you need more time to edit it, then take that time first.

Network – Does the group that organised the conference have a web presence? ‘Like’ their page or join their Facebook group so that you can get updates and keep in touch with people you met at the conference. If they’re not on social media, why not contact other attendees and start up your own online group? It’s not hard to set up a group on Yahoo or Facebook. Local writers’ groups can also keep you motivated and provide an avenue for you to encourage others. If there are no groups in your area, maybe you could start one. Networking doesn’t have to stop when the conference ends.



So what are you waiting for? Put those conference lessons into practice and you’ll have a pile of manuscripts in no time. Just be sure to spend more time on your writing than on social media.  What are your tips for keeping your conference momentum?  I'd love to hear your suggestions.

And thank you to the organising committee for a wonderful conference.  You all did a fabulous job - Susan Barnes, Jenny Glazebrook, Heather Monro, Anne Brown and Deb Porter (and all of your helpers).

(N.B. An earlier version of this post appeared on Nola's blog: http://www.thewriteflourish.com.au/posts/17-keeping-your-conference-momentum







Nola Passmore is a freelance writer who has had more than 140 short pieces published, including devotionals, true stories, magazine articles, academic papers, poetry and short fiction.  She loves sharing what God has done in her life and encouraging others to do the same.  She and her husband Tim have their own freelance writing and editing business called The Write Flourish.  You can find her writing tips blog at their website:  http://www.thewriteflourish.com.au  


10 comments:

  1. Thanks Nola. I want to stay at "Refresh" for a few days but there's too much to do! All the best maintaining your momentum.

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    1. Hi Simon - Thanks for that. You certainly did have a big weekend, so I hope you have some good time with your family this week. Looking forward to seeing you at the retreat in a few weeks' time :)

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  2. Thanks Nola. I came home very inspired from the weekend. Currently sitting at my computer going over notes and thoughts and writing down my plans/goals for the next 12 months. First time I've felt that being a writer is "normal" and ok. No one looking at me sideways with an "Ohh so you work from home (as a writer), that means you don't do anything! Now I've found my niche!!!! I am a writer/author and love it. Going to plan the negative people out of my life and the positive encouraging ones into it more. Tks

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    1. Wow, Cindy. I need to take a leaf out of your organised book and write down all the things I said i'd do when I got back...
      But I've had such fun reading one of Cameron's versions of the 23rd psalm to people, reading about Vanuatu, and telling friends about 'Integrate'!
      Time to start that list!

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    2. Wow Cindy - You're on fire. Sounds like you got a lot out of the weekend. Good on you for applying it as soon as you got back. It was great meeting you at the intensive. I'll look forward to hearing how your novella turns out. Take care xx

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  3. It was a great conference and I'm looking forward to becoming Facebook Friends with some of the wonderful ladies I met, so I can tick off Networking.

    Now to start on the harder suggestions, like writing ...

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    1. Thanks again for your input Iola. Am thinking I may need to revisit that cliffhanger and work out what to do with poor Maggie. Good luck with your writing.

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  4. Thanks Nola. I am certainly 'pumped'!
    I'm wanting to spend time with God more than write at the minute - what could be more impt? One of the worship songs just keeps going through my brain...
    It was such a special weekend and so good to talk to other writers who don't think you're crazy when you are madly scratching something on paper by the light of a fading torch at midnight! Or if you write something totally crazy!
    I've started reading 4 of the books I bought - thankyou Robyn, Cameron, Anusha and Lynn for your courage to put on paper part of yourselves.
    Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make it all happen. See you in Sydney

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    1. So glad you could come, Pamela and glad you're pumped. We'll have to do a Quirky Quills debrief session next week :)

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  5. Hi Nola - I'm at the refreshing (and recovering) & beginning to review stage. Thanks for your post :)

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