I'm not here to reminisce, although, I really want to go back to New Orleans. I love that city.
Nope, I'm here today to talk about recharging my creative batteries. Motivated, successful, and people who are great story-tellers inspire me.
I'm not usually a "get out and mingle" type of person. In fact, I'm a "comfy pants, wine in hand, in bed by 10" type of person. But being around other authors lifts me up in a way I can't get out of a Facebook messenger chat.
If you've been reading along on my blog, you know I'm not one for small talk, or generic chit chat. So you might be asking, "How is this chick not an eternal bore to head out with?"
Shit, I don't know. But I do try and have an idea or a list of things I want to go over if the meeting is trending toward talk of the weather. I do this before I meet anyone, but to what degree it varies from meeting to meeting. If I've been chatting with someone about a specific project they're working on, I'll make note of it. I'm horrible with names and titles, and having some info to refer to helps me out immensely. I could have this on a post-it in my purse planner, or I could have a whole page of notes in whatever bullet journal type thing I'm carrying on my person at the time.
I also take my computer with me to almost every meeting. And a bit of paper. If we happen upon an absolutely brilliant idea, I'm getting that ball rolling immediately. I'll have my phone nearby, just in case of emergencies, but unless I'm pulling up the perfect meme, or a phone conversation, I try to leave it off.
When we're going to eat, which let's be honest, I'm most easily lured out by food or drink I don't have to prepare. Then I make sure to wear darker colors. I'll drop something on myself. Every damn time. My boobs and thighs tend to get just as much of a meal as my mouth.
But most of all, I make sure to let all my planning fly out the window. The best meetings go off in directions even I couldn't have planned, and the time gets away from us. Like today, when my breakfast meeting ran until damn near lunch.
Because we inevitably talk about projects and next moves in our careers, I accomplish so much more throughout the rest of my week or month beyond after meeting with a peer. Sure there are times when we commiserate, or complain, but the best meetings don't focus on the negative.
My blog is going up late today, because I made my recharge time a priority. And although said friend also sent me home with a stock pile of goodies from her latest trip to find homes for, I'm letting my cat and dog investigate the smell for a bit and reminding anyone out there who might be listening, to find your local connections and make an active effort to meet up.
Don't have anyone local? Who lives within driving distance? Offer to meet them halfway. Face to face, and cohort to cohort time is more valuable than an extra hour of sleep. If that's not in the cards. Skype. Look someone in the eyes and make that connection.
People always tell me that conventions aren't worth the cost for an author, and I couldn't disagree more. Take another gander at that picture in the top left of this blog. That community, and those relationships I formed, some of which I'd only met with that conference, are now part of my tribe. Relationships, and contacts in this business, and ANY business, are worth sticking your neck out, and forking over the cash for.
Do you go out to lunch with colleagues? Meet up for drinks to discuss new avenues of income with an entrepreneur you've been introduced to? If you don't, why not?
I'm recharged again, and I'm realizing I haven't gotten my fix in far too long. A big thanks to Melanie Jayne for taking time to talk shop and everything else with me. (You should check her out if you haven't already. She's a hoot.)
I'm ready to take on my week, and plan my next recharge. What about you?