conference changes everything

I’ve been very quiet here because I’ve had a block against finishing the manuscript. I know I need to let it go; I know I need to just sit down and finish it up; I know, I know. Soon! Very soon!!

Last week I was at ALA Annual in DC and had the pleasure of meeting with my editor Jenni Fry in person (and on two occasions, lucky me!), and in our second meeting she says “so, what’s stressing you out?” We talked a bit about the writing, editing, and proofing process and where the book is to this point. “Just get it done,” she says, “it’ll be great.” I know, I know. But there was something about her sitting there in person that made it so. I came home with most of my concerns resolved, and the clearest path towards “get it done” that I’ve had since we started the project. Bottom line: I love this material, especially all of these tremendous stories we’ve uncovered and now get to share. I do just need to pull the pieces together and simply finish out the home stretch.

There are a million other things about my life and work that are different now than they were before conference. It’s always that way – ALA Annual simply changes things. Changes a lot. But why?

I think it’s the face time. Seeing people face to face and talking with them directly – with expressions, body language, gesture, and even touch all on radar – it turns things over. Could we ever bring that experience completely online? We can probably only get close. Online can do a lot of things – but it can’t quite capture the spirit and energy of a full week at conference.