Winding Down After When Words Collide 2016

I left the Delta South Hotel approximately 24 hours ago, my exit heralding the end of When Words Collide 2016 for me. Overall, it was a great festival. I was really impressed by the panels I attended and I learned a lot –there’s so much knowledge I can’t wait to start implementing in my writing and on my respective blogs.

In reference to my last post about WWC, concerning all the prep work I had envisioned, certain aspects of my attendance were a failure. To be brutally honest, I set myself up for failure from the get-go.

I’m talking about networking here. Deciding that I could do a complete 360˚ personality turn and dive head first into networking with less than 4 weeks to prepare is up there on the list of Dumbest Ideas Ever. Worst though, is the fact that I didn’t actually end up making time to prepare in that small space of time, so I turned myself into a sleep deprived head case for the festival.

I psyched myself out, got barely any sleep in the weeks (and especially the couple of days) leading up to WWC, and couldn’t do anything that I wanted to do. Have you any idea how hard it is to be outgoing, friendly, and cognisant on no sleep? Usually I’m ok with very little sleep, but I was EXHAUSTED when I arrived at the conference on Friday. I was barely functional, and it just got worse from the moment of my arrival on.

I designed new business cards…whoopty doo, when I couldn’t even strike up the energy to place myself in situations where the exchange of said cards would be appropriate.

I went in with the semblance of a game plan…whoopty doo when I went and hovered by Kate’s merchant spot any time I didn’t have a panel.

I went in with the mental mantra that I was going to talk to lots of people…whoopty doo when I was so tired I kept avoiding eye contact because I was petrified of trying to maintain my end of a conversation thread.

Yes, I’m being hard on myself, but I’m so unimpressed right now. At least I can identify where I went wrong.

The weekend was not a total bust. I did manage to meet a couple of new people, and I had lunch with a group on Saturday, and I managed not to make a colossal ass of myself though there were a couple of moments where I really put my foot in my mouth hard. Such is my state of existence though on a regular day.

Sunday was by far my best day of attendance because I had really given up on networking by that point so I was much more relaxed –funny that that’s the day I had more conversations with people. I crack myself up sometimes.

There is a light side to this dark mess I created. I now have business cards I’m not reticent to hand out. I now know that I need to start working on networking right now so that I’m ready come next year (my whole day job point in my last post ignored the fact that at my job people come to me and strike up conversation, not the other way around). I now have a couple of ins I need to figure out how to utilize come next year. And I need to remember to bloody relax.

The front of my new cards.

The front of my new cards.

And the back.

And the back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You win some, you lose some. I’m glad I’ve walked away from this year’s festival with the knowledge of what does not work for me, and a new plan for aspects of my business that will help me with networking next year. It’s all a matter of starting small and letting that snowball build up on itself without me desperately trying to push it up a hill.

If you attended this year how did your plans go and what did you think of WWC? I also have a post on Anxiety Ink with a few more specifics of my own attendance than I mentioned here.

National Novel Writing Month

For those of you unfamiliar with National Novel Writing Month, or the far catchier NaNoWriMo, it is a writing event in which each participant attempts to write 50,000 words, or a novel, during the month of November.2013-Winner-Certificate Signed

I have tackled and succeed at NaNo once, in 2013, while I was jobless and motivated. Not to say that I’m not motivated to write now, but I devised an attack plan in 2013 so that I could not fail. It was marvelous.

There is nothing like a whopping success the first time you try something.

I did not have the guts to tackle NaNo last year. I was too busy with work and other things to get into the proper head space. Last year and this year I did attempt two other NaNo events, April and July Camp NaNo. The difference between the original NaNo and Camp is that “at camp”, you get to form virtual cabins with writers you know, or strangers, and you get to set your own word goal. It’s much more of a social endeavor than traditional NaNo, in my opinion.

2014-Winner-Facebook-ProfileI won Camp in April 2014 by surpassing my goal of 10,000 words by over 2,600. That month I had two projects I knew I wanted to work on in advance and I made time to write around my day job. I did absolutely no planning for any of the other NaNo Camps and I failed miserably.

Coming off a very recent fail, I decided I don’t like this streak of mine. I’m a good strategist and I can tackle anything as long as I have a plan going in. Furthermore, I just made a promise to myself to focus more on my fiction writing and schedule time for it.

I have three months until November. I have also scheduled a week of holiday time for November. I want a rough draft of my current WIP done by the end of this year and I’ve decided to immerse myself fully in that world, ironing kinks and plotting arcs until I feel ready to write it all out.

I feel like all of these elements are going to come together to make something incredible in the next four months.

So here is my challenge to myself:

Over August, September, and October, I need to work on that world and figure out how my novel is going to flesh out. I need to be comfortable making time for fiction by the time November arrives. I also need to come up with a writing course for November so I can be well ahead of schedule by the end of the month. I know what I did to win in 2013 and while I don’t want to change that perfect plan, I need to make it work around the day job.

This will be no small feat, but I might have a completed manuscript by the end of November to show for it. I sure hope I can share that positive news on December 1st!