Thursday, June 20, 2019

Prevent Post-Writing-Conference Burnout

by Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

I enjoyed attending the 2019 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. During the conference many industry relationships were cultivated as discussed in my last article Writing—A Juggling Act I saw friends I hadn’t seen since last year and met new ones. Now I have several new podcasts and magazines to query, dozens of social media pages to like, and book proposals to complete. By the time I got home exhaustion ensued. 

Conference Organization
To stay organized during the conference, I created a to do list on the Notes app on my iPhone. I titled it To Do List After BRMCWC. It contained a prioritized A, B, and C list. During the conference as ideas popped into my head, I added them to this list. Many people suggested different tactics to further my writing career—so I added them to the list. Thank goodness I did. I could not have remembered everything after I got home that I included on my three page list.

Post Conference Burnout
When I returned home, family obligations prevailed. My two college-age daughters were home. One was moving across the country and the other to Washington DC for an internship. So my organized to do list sat untouched. Family was my priority. I try to follow the hierarchy of Christian life—first God, spouse second, children third, work, friends, and ministries, in that order.

With making my family a priority, I pushed to meet my writing deadlines. But my office suffered because I had no time to unpack from the conference. After getting my adult children settled, I was even more exhausted. So I sat down to read a book about rest that I bought at the conference. 

My Blue Ridge instructor Sandra Dalton-Smith MD wrote the book Sacred Rest. From reading, I found there are seven different types of rest: emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, social, sensory, and creative. To find out what kind of rest I needed, I took a quiz at I needed physical and creative rest. 

To rest physically I went to bed earlier and completely rested on Sunday. God gave us a rest day for a fundamental reason—to restore our bodies. To gain creative rest, I spent more time outside amongst nature. In the morning, I sat on my front porch and listened to birds sing while I meditated with the Lord. Meditation improves brain health. After just a few days, my creative juices began flowing again.

Soul Care
Next, I picked up Edie Melson’s book Soul Care for Writers. I began adding a soul care devotion to my morning routine. On the third day, the devotion suggested going outside to notice the colors, smell, and intricacy of all that God created. I could smell the confederate jasmine blooming in my backyard. Abundant peace washed over me. The post-conference burnout faded.

I as I delved further into the devotions it was as if they were written for me—a writer. And they were. From one writer to another. Discussions about fear, rejection, and overachievement ensued. This turned into a heart-to-heart talk with God about relinquishing my will for my career to his will for me and my prose. The Lord is my boss. He is not a task master but a loving God. I want him to steer my career not my desire for success.

When you get home from a conference, don’t start working on your long to do list right away. Instead, revitalize your soul with rest, spend time with the Lord, and ask him to guide you. Then clean up your office and writing space. An organized work area brings clarity. Once you are rested, attain clarity of mind, and God’s guidance that to do list won’t be so unattainable anymore. Happy writing!

Prevent Post-Writing-Conference Burnout - from @SusanNealYoga on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Tips to cope with post-writing-conference burnout - from @SusanNealYoga on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Susan U. Neal, RN, MBA, MHS
Susan’s mission is to improve the health of the body of Christ. She has her RN and MBA degrees, as well as a master’s in health science. She is a CERTIFIED HEALTH AND WELLNESS COACH with the American Association of Christian Counselors. She published five books, the Selah award winner 7 STEPS TO GET OFF SUGAR AND CARBOHYDRATES, CHRISTIAN STUDY GUIDE FOR 7 STEPS TO GET OFF SUGAR AND CARBOHYDRATESHEALTHY LIVING JOURNALSCRIPTURE YOGA a #1 Amazon best-selling yoga book, and YOGA FOR BEGINNERS which ranked #3. She published two sets of Christian Yoga Card Decks and two Christian Yoga DVDs that are available at CHRISTINAYOGA.COM. Her digital product HOW TO PREVENT, IMPROVE, AND REVERSE ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA is a great resource. To learn more about Susan visit her website SUSANUNEAL.COM You can also connect with Susan on FACEBOOKTWITTER, and INSTAGRAM.


  1. Susan,

    Thank you for these wonderful insights for writers after a conference. After these great insights I also would encourage writers to follow through with the various requests from editors and agents. From going to these conferences for years, I know many people never send in their requested materials. If you do, you are in the top 10% of people even at a large conference like Blue Ridge. It is not that your requested material gets published--but at least you give yourself that opportunity (which never happens if you don't submit).

    Straight Talk From the Editor