After the dust settles

Hi everyone,

[Apologies for the lack of posts. I’ve basically been recovering from the Asylum Weekend. I had to go right back to “the day job” afterwards and I’m only just managing to catch up]

So, the big event of my writing year is over. The Weekend at the Asylum Steampunk Convention (I did a post on my author blog HERE) was a couple of weeks back. Some of you might remember that I was wigging out about it before the event as I had a couple of hour-long talks to do in order to earn my free table.

As it turns out, the talks went pretty well. No one fell asleep and everyone engaged with some great questions and insights. The main thing with this kind of event, of course, is fatigue.

Like any social event, having a stall, signing, doing talks, is all very high emotional stuff. Especially for Those-Like-Me who are drained by it. To be honest, the physical energy wasn’t a problem. It was the emotional fatigue that was the problem. You see, for three days straight, I must have talked to hundreds and hundreds of people, explaining about my books, engaging in conversations about their outfits and gadgets,the entertainment, if they were having fun. The energy and enthusiasm that I give the last person each day has to be the same as what I give to the first. Of course, then there’s the anxiety. My whole system was on a high state of alert the whole weekend: heart pounding, my brain soaked in boiling adrenaline. Mostly because I’m constantly worried that I’ll come across badly to the lovely people that come to talk to me, that I’ll put someone off my books rather than encourage them, or I’ll just mess something up like I usually do.

That level of adrenalised (made that word up, I think) activity is not only exhausting. there isn’t a strong enough word for it. It just…destroys you. Adrenaline is supposed to last long enough to fight something off or run away. It’s not supposed to be in hour system for ten hours straight.

Also, that lot was sandwiched between travelling to Lincoln and back each day as I can’t afford to stay there, taking down and setting up my stall (as we moved areas over the course of the weekend which was actually quite nice as it let me see something of the event).

Suffice to say, I came out of the weekend on a massive downer. We’ve talked about this before, but this kind of physical and emotional activity just leaves me lower than low. It’s a lot like when you get coldsores or mouth ulcers when you’ve worked too hard or done too much. Except, with emotional exhaustion, you get mood ulcers instead. I always take a huge dip.

Some of that comes from the fact that I couldn’t really hang out with people that I only get to this once a year. I was too tired, too wasted, and had to drive home rather than fall into a bed a few minutes away. I felt kinda guilty that, once the stalls were closed, I just flopped with partial tiredness and partial relief that I’d survived another day. One half of me feels guilty for not hanging around, the other just wanted to sleep as much as possible before the next day began.

That guilt that I talked about in the Down Days ebook (still free right HERE) remains an ongoing problem.

But, all-in-all, I got through it with the help of friends and loved ones who are incredibly understanding and hopefully won’t have taken my quietness and end-of-day flops personally. Plus, I sold a stack of books, which is never a bad thing. New readers and existing ones, old and young. I sent a wad of tasty cash to Inspired Quill and look forward to a little of the royalties that I plan to save up so that I can stay over next year. If every penny I make from my work goes back into making sure that I can continue doing it, then I’ll take that as a beautiful circle of life kind of thing.

Anyway, that was a long bloody post. Sorry about that. We return to our regular programming shortly…

 

Thanks for reading!

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8 Comments

  1. Hello! I think that kind of table work is easily underestimated as a performance art, and it needs to be good quality performance all the way, and it does take a toll. I can’t do evenings at events either, and like you and doing the back at work but not really straight yet thing. The good news though, is that the stressy performance side does get easier with practice, as you grow more confident in your skills and whatnot. You did fabulously, and hopefully next time you’ll remember that you totally rocked at Asylum and won’t feel quite as stressed. It’s a theory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As always, you’re far too kind, Nimue. I trust your judgement, though, so hopefully it did go well. I’m looking forward to next year already. Especially as I’ll have a new book out by then! Yippee!
      And thank you for all of your help, and Tom, you really made it much easier than it could have been.

      Like

  2. Well done Craig! It is very stressful to be in the focal point for so long.
    The only thing I would say is that you probably experience two sides of stress.
    Positive because of the feed back to your book, negative for having to be outgoing for so long.
    This can fell the strongest unless one happens to have a big ego.

    Stress can be short term and not so harmful or long term which causes many illnesses.

    You go and just enjoy, it will help conquer fear.

    miriam

    Liked by 1 person

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