Have you guys ever attended a conference? Doesn’t matter what kind. Any kind. A conference for your job. A conference surrounding something you love. Any conference that consists of you swimming along in a giant ocean of other people who do/love the same thing you do/love. Ever been to one?
I have. More than once. I’ve been to several conferences before, most of which revolve around writing. But I’ve never been to something as big as where I am right now. I am currently finishing up Day 2 of the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas, which is a conference for people involved in the romance novel industry. Everybody is here: writers, readers, publishers, publicists, agents, bloggers, you name it. I don’t know how many people are actually registered, but I’d guess it’s upwards of 500. I am honestly not sure if that constitutes “big” in the grand scheme of conferences, but it’s big for me. And at the end of Day 2, I have Conference Brain.
Here are some of the wickedly informative panels I’ve attended so far:
- Greasing the Wheels: Building Momentum & Reader Commitment in a Series
- Writing Fast: Tips, Tricks, and Cautions
- Worldbuilding: Not Just for Paranormals
- Post-Gay: When Characters Just Happen to Be Gay
- How to Write Realistic Queer Characters
- Platform Building in the Digital Age
Do you see what I mean? It’s amazing stuff. I feel like a giant sponge, just soaking it all in, all the information, the advice, the tips. I’ve been writing now for fifteen years and there is still a ton for me to learn. There will always be another writer who can teach me something new and when those lessons come at me in the form of a four day conference: Conference Brain.
But, Georgia, what do you mean by Conference Brain? (I heard you. Don’t fret. I shall explain.) Conference Brain is a condition that sets in when a person attends a conference and is bombarded by endless information about a subject. It means is that my brain is suddenly overflowing, overwhelmed, chock full of things I need to do/research/implement when I get home next week. It means I am making lists of people I have met here that I need to e-mail after the conference is over. It means I am already thinking about changes I’ll need make to my current work in progress, changes I’ll need to make to the way I market, changes I’ll need to make to my daily schedule. Don’t get me wrong. This is not a bother. Conference Brain is not a bad thing by any means. All of these things will (hopefully) help me to improve the way I practice my craft as well as its product (my books). Conference Brain is just tiring. There are two more days and I’m already exhausted. My brain hurts.
But that’s okay because I’ve had Conference Brain in the past. Many times. Not necessarily at this level, but I’m familiar, and it will inevitably help me improve my work so the next books of mine you read will be that much better than the last. Don’t you worry about me. I am a professional and I know how to exactly how to handle Conference Brain:
Room service and wine, baby. Room service and wine.