Home again, home again. Jiggity-jig.

Okay, so it wasn’t quite that fast.  Forty eight hours on a bus in less than a week is more snailish than anything.  Certainly not worthy of jigging.  But home, sweet home.  Nothing in the world is like it.

After six nights of sleeping in various beds, I finally got to sleep in my own last night.  I woke up to my alarm clock–a soothing melody–and not the annoying buzz of the hotel version.  I drank my coffee, not a six-dollar Starbucks’.  At home, I get free refills and don’t have to wait in line.

Don’t get me wrong.  The Youth Gathering was amazing.  The food delicious.  The atmosphere out of this world.  I recharged my spirit and soaked up the energy of thousands of kids.  I even participated in the Guinness worthy “largest boomwhacker choir”.  It was a blast.

Writing conferences are like that.  They energize the soul and spark the creative muse.  They feed us with delicious tidbits and foster lasting friendships.  They are the lifeblood and the pulse of the writing community.

But at the end of it all, the experience is nothing more than a jumping off point.  At a National Youth Gathering with 30,000 people or a conference with 120 people, the experience is ours to take from and use when we get home.

 I guarantee you that returning to the comfort of your bed, your morning coffee and the melodious buzz of your real life will suck the energy away if you do not foster it. 

You can lead a horse to water…

You can equip a writer or a Christian with all the tools they need to succeed in their newfound lifestyle, but you cannot make them use the tools you have given them.  Nor should they use every one immediately.

Vomiting children will take time and patience.  Demanding jobs will suck up valuable time.  Significant others will require the return of our affection and rejections will weigh us down. 

My recommendation for those who attend conferences, conventions or gatherings of any sort is this:

Incorporate only one or two things into your real life.

Seriously.  Just one or two.  We hear so many great ideas and become passionate about applying each and every one to our lives–writing or otherwise.  But it is too much.  We simply cannot maintain a healthy relationship with our pre-conference/gathering/convention lives and our post ones if we try to do it all.

How do you stay energized after attending mass events?  What tips can you provide that will help us balance our pre and post lives and still come out better for the experience?

Have you ever returned home from a mass event only to find yourself more dejected or unsure than when you left?  If so, why and how did you overcome it?

Inquiring minds want to know.


12 responses to “Home again, home again. Jiggity-jig.

  1. Hi! Welcome back. 🙂

    I think that is excellent advice about only doing one or two things differently. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been to a writer’s conference, but I’ve participated in similar group events. Trying to do everything frequently results in doing nothing.

  2. Welcome back! No place like home 🙂
    I definitely agree with you- information is out there and each one of them sounds great, helpful and enlightening. But if we use more than one or two, if we rush it and try to ‘do it/ change it all’ we can overwhelm ourselves and end up doing nothing.

  3. I overcame a depressing mass event by complaining about it with friends. ^_^

  4. Sounds like a fabulous trip – love boomwhackers! (Hopefully not on the bus though!)

    I’ve been overwhelmed at teaching conferences at times. there are so many shiny ideas, so many inspiring stories. Your advice to take 1 or 2 ideas to use is spot on. If you try more, you almost always fail, and lose all of the info. By adding in 1 or 2 new things you’ve got a much better chance at succeeding.

    • Yes, on the bus. The good thing is that I, being auditorially challenged, can easily tune extranneous noise out without a problem. The beating, bleating and blowing upon these fun instruments didn’t bother me in the slightest. Woe to the six other chaperones who couldn’t!

      I love shiny ideas and inspiring stories. They make conferences so worthwhile. Utilizing only a few can be a tough choice, but one that benefits us none-the-less. Thanks so much for weighing in!


  5. Have you ever returned home from a mass event only to find yourself more dejected or unsure than when you left?

    No, but I’ve returned home and become incredibly overwhelmed by life, so maybe it’s the same thing. Before we LEFT for the last convention, I knew of one death and there were two more in the following week and then I fell ill and I’m still not over it. Meanwhile, the writing and life in general pile up behind me like the mound of clothes from my hamper…. ;D

    • Hugs, Victoria.

      I hope thing settle down soon. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. If I could, I would pop over and fold a virtual load of laundry or two for you to help out.

  6. The title of your post is something that my mother has said for years almost every time that she pulls into her garage. I’ve heard her do it and now my son has heard it for years. I don’t think he even associates it with the nursery rhyme, “This little piggy”. 🙂

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