Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Writers' Conferences Wear You Out

(Originally titled Foolin’ Around at the Colorado Gold)

There was supposed to be video from the soirees around the hotel where the Colorado Gold Conference was held to accompany this posting, but I enjoyed some libations just a tad bit too much. Thus, I didn’t shoot many recordings and in the ones I did, my ‘glow’ was obvious. And I got too caught up in shenanigans with old friends…which has sparked my theme for today’s posting.

It used to puzzle me as to why a three day writer’s program sent me home drained. Since I got the opportunity to just observe at this year’s conference, I realized why. Here are the top ten reasons in countdown style:

10) Nerves. It’s difficult for shy writers to talk with editors and agents. You’re surrounded by these industry big leaguers all weekend and you want to pitch your book, but you don’t want to be clumsy or rude and you know they’re inundated and…holy cow, you could wind yourself up tighter than a piano string just obsessing on that!

9) Excitement. If an editor or agent asks you to send something to them, the electricity’s got you—even if you want to look cool and collected on the outside.

8) Finding a parking spot between two cars that are spaced correctly. C’mon, just like anywhere else you go, you know you hate it.

7) The I-got-to-make-it-to-every-workshop-to-get-my-money’s-worth agenda. It’s kind of like going on a family vacation and cramming in every attraction you can between here and Disneyland.

6) Sleep deprivation. Some of this comes from your nerves crackling at night. But you also can’t just retire to your room at 8PM when you’re surrounded by like-minded writers. So, before you knew it, you stayed up gabbing way past bed time to the tune of 12:30 or maybe even 1AM!

5) Those revolving doors at the Renaissance. You can just go round and round in those for hours. Great fun!

4) Yelling. Anywhere there is at least 200 people gathered and some spirits flowing, one has to raise their voice to speak over the crowd. Then the guy next to him has to crank his volume louder than that guy. Then the lady next to him…well, you get the idea. Yelling is very exhausting. Just ask my wife. She yells at me all the time.

3) Primping. It’s hard work to make all those trips to the restroom, checking to ensure your hair is glued down just right and nothing is in your teeth.

2) Alcohol. Even in moderation, a couple of drinks will amplify all the fatigue you’ve incurred from the constant hand-wringing.

And the number one reason why writer’s conferences wear you out….

1) Complaining over and over about 50 Shades of Grey!

Gusto Dave Jackson is a writer of Urban Fantasy and YA Western Steampunk represented by the Belcastro Agency


Shannon Baker said...

I'd respond but I'm exhausted.

Emily France said...

Thanks for this post! When I passed out asleep (upright, in a chair) last night at 8 p.m., my husband was concerned. When he tried to get me up, I mumbled something about "the conference" and promptly went back to sleep. I'll direct my husband to this post...

Chiseled in Rock said...

Well, we'll straighten your hubby right out. :)


Claire L. Fishback said...

Great post! And all so true! I think I'm STILL recovering!

j. a. kazimer said...

Great list. Number 1 is the best, but I'd like to add something about loss of water due to drooling over the US & Canadian Lacrosse teams.

Patricia Stoltey said...

It's Thursday. You'd think I would have recovered by now...

Claire L. Fishback said...

By the way, you forgot "Watching the professional Lacrosse players go up and down the glass elevators." Yeah, that'll wear a girl out. ;o)