[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!