Riding Out the Mid-Conference Crash

You arrived at Mount Hermon excited and ready for all that God has for you. You’ve learned a ton already, made (or reconnected with) friends, been inspired by the speakers, and even stepped out of your comfort zone a few times. Then out of nowhere, one of the following happens:

  • You feel like your brain will short circuit if it takes in one more piece of information.
  • Everything that comes out of your mouth sounds stupid, especially around editors.
  • You’re positive that you are the only one not accomplishing his/her goals.
  • You’re considering going home early.
  • You don’t want to talk to anyone. If you do you’ll just start crying.
  • You resent everything about the publishing business.
  • You hear two faculty members laughing and imagine that the joke has something to do with your manuscript.
  • You suddenly feel like a two-year-old who skipped her nap.

What is going on? Why can’t you shake it off?

It could be happening because . . .

  • You got some discouraging news (a rejection, a disappointing critique, a less-than-enthusiastic response to a pitch, heard that nobody is interested in your genre).
  • Your story is very personal and people aren’t responding to it as you hoped they would.
  • You’re on information overload (so your brain is about to short circuit).
  • You’ve been running non-stop since you arrived.
  • You aren’t used to being around so many people.
  • God is working in your heart on an issue that has nothing to do with the conference, or He is nudging you to give something over to Him (such as your dreams).

Whatever the reason, and at whatever point it hits, be assured that . . .

  • It’s normal. Writer’s conferences are exhausting, even in the excitement.
  • You’ll get through it. Hitting a spiral doesn’t mean the conference is ruined or that you shouldn’t have come. It just means you need to slow down and ask God how to handle it.
  • God can use it for good. Low points often end in surrender and new direction.

What to do:

Instead of hiding in your room for the rest of the day, beating yourself up, or ignoring how you feel, try one or more of these remedies:

  • Take a nap or go to bed early. Sometimes we just need sleep.
  • Skip a workshop to rest your brain. Get some fresh air or spend some time alone.
  • Spend time with God (especially if you are questioning your purpose for attending, need to re-evaluate your goals, or know that your heart needs some healing).
  • Talk to a friend or faculty member and ask them to pray with you.
  • Ask God to turn your day around in a way that only He can.

After you’ve rested, emptied that well of emotion, refocused, or all of the above, you will enjoy the conference in a new and deeper way.

Jeanette Hanscome has written three books for teen girls with Focus on the Family and over 400 published articles, devotionals, and stories. She is a regular contributor to Walk Thru the Bible’s Tapestry, Standard Publishing’s Encounter—the Magazine, and the Girls, God, and the Good Life blog. (www.girlsgodgoodlife.blogspot.com). One of her passions is teaching and coaching new writers.

Connect with Jeanette at her website: www.jeanettehanscome.com