Retreat to Regenerate

I’ve attended a few writers’ conferences and for the most part, I find them exciting. What better place to meet and mingle with fellow writers and readers, as well as publishers, agents and all-around book people? It’s a fertile, common ground we stand upon and share. At conferences, I’ve participated in speed dating (where authors have a minute to pitch their book(s) to a table of ten, ten times; I’ve been on stage as a debut novelist babbling to the conference world about my first book, and I’ve had the great pleasure of being a panelist at conferences and a workshop leader, discussing all sorts of wonderful topics. Exciting stuff, right? Right. Except, it can also be exhausting.

Conferences typically offer a boatload of activities. And the vast majority are hard to miss. But we writers are mostly quiet folk who need to withdraw, now and then, to rejuvenate. At least, that’s true about this author. I need time to do nothing, think nothing, speak nothing. If I don’t slow down, I tend to pay for it by dragging myself around.

Sometimes, it’s hard to back off when everyone else looks like they’re enjoying and thriving on constant interaction. But a little time to oneself can help re-energize the mind and body. Here are a few ways I slow down to re-boot myself at conferences:

– Take a walk. At the Malice Domestic conference, I took time to leave the venue and take walks. Boy, am I glad I did because the surroundings were lovely and I came back feeling refreshed!

– Take a nap. I’m not one for napping, but I am one for lying down in a quiet space for about ten – twenty minutes. I feel like a new person once I’m up and running again.

– Walk barefoot in the grass or sand. I’ve not tried this one at a conference, but I have on my own; feeling nature beneath my bare feet does wonders.

– Calm the mind by sitting quietly and focusing on breathing in and out. This forces me to slow down to feel energized afterwards.

Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of peace and quiet to restore the mind and the body.

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3 years ago